A few points regarding the cases of paralysis linked to enterovirus 68 in California:
--Enteroviruses are a large group of viruses that cause diseases ranging from the common cold to paralysis
--Polio itself is an enterovirus and in an era in which polio is almost eradicated, it is not surprising to see another enterovirus causing paralytic illness
--These cases are a rare manifestation of a rare virus
Overall, the identification of these cases is important because it illustrates the benefit of surveillance in combating infectious diseases. Future work should focus on understanding the true burden of this disease and determining what percentage of illness proceeds to paralysis.
I'm supposed to discuss all this on John Seigenthaler's show shortly.