In Your Health – A Rare Polio-like Virus & Seasonal Affective Disorder

Health News

(CNN/ABC News) – Researchers have new hope in pinpointing what is behind the scary polio-like illness that mostly impacts children.

I’m talking about acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM which usually occurs around this time of year.

A study in the Journal Natural Medicine says enterovirus strains d-68 and a-71 could be the culprit.

42 patients with AFM were tested. 70-percent had antibodies for those two strains.

Still not clear – why a virus that causes 10 to 15 million infections a year in the U.S. only causes paralysis in less than one-percent of infected children.

Early symptoms mirror those of a common cold. Cough. Congestion. Fever.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, says, “What is alarming and frightening is they suddenly develop weakness, and typically it’s in an arm or leg… And it comes out of the blue.”

For some children, that weakness can turn into paralysis. The virus causes inflammation in the spinal cord — which can be reversed over time in some cases.

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Now to this health issue — as the temperature falls is your mood down too?

A researcher at the University of Minnesota says you could have seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

Less sun means lower serotonin, which can really affect mood.

How do you know if you’re experiencing SAD?

You’re likely feeling depressed, anxious, tired, may have trouble sleeping, a change in appetite and easily irritated.

Experts recommend exercising, eating well, and going outside.

But even that may not be enough. You may need light therapy, medications or talk therapy.

And remember, talking with your doctor can help with the winter blues.

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