An outbreak of enterovirus D68 is leaving children from Spain and China paraplegic.
This virus is present in Costa Rica, but that specific and more aggressive serotype is not registered in the country.
However, a different type enterovirus that affects the skin is increasing in the child population.
Dr. Maria Luisa Avila, from the National Children’s Hospital, said that the virus, although less aggressive, is present more frequently with meningitis and that skin lesions are very similar to chickenpox.
According to Dr. Avila, all viruses have a special attraction for certain tissues and the D68 is attacking the nervous tissue, behaving like polio since
it attacks these specific neurons and the person is paralyzed from the neck down, or just from the limbs.”
The virus lives in the intestines of humans and transmitted by anal-hand-mouth contamination.