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Toddler Comes Down With Strange, Polio-Like Illness

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While polio has been mostly eradicated worldwide by vaccines, an illness with similar symptoms has been popping up in California.

Two-year-old Lucian Olivera of Moorpark is the latest person to show such symptoms as difficulty walking, CBS reports. So far, there have been 20 cases in California, though this is the first in SoCal.

Olivera’s mother said the boy first had an ear infection at 11 months old, then couldn’t stand or use his legs. After months of seeing doctors who didn’t know what was wrong with the boy, the family recently took him to Stanford University, where doctors confirmed he had a syndrome similar to poliomyelitis aka polio that causes partial paralysis.

Doctors are still researching the disease and say it varies by patient. According to Simi Valley’s Dr. John Dingilian:

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“Really, it’s unknown the severity of this for each individual. The thought is that it is permanent, but we don’t know all the things that will happen to every patient.”

Olivera has to wear a brace on his legs and will most likely never be able to walk on his own, according to a KCAL 9 report.