After losing father and sister to ALS, Illinois man swims nearly 20,000 strokes to raise funds
CHICAGO — When Doug McConnell reaches 100 swim strokes, he thinks about his father. At 400, he thinks about his sister.He thought about both of them this week when he swam 19,220 strokes in Lake Michigan from Evanston, Ill., to downtown Chicago to raise funds toward finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a terminal disease with no cure. He lost his father in 2006 to the disease, and in 2018, his sister.“That’s always a lift, when you’re cold or you’re tired or your shoulders are aching or your legs are cramping,” he said.The swim was part of the group A Long Swim, which he and...
Commentary: Tempted not to vaccinate? Listen to the survivors of preventable, deadly diseases
My mother came down with polio before Jonas Salk’s vaccine was introduced in 1954. My Guatemalan friend, Alba Hernandez, developed the paralyzing disease 23 years after the vaccine arrived in her country. At age 5, she developed a high fever and could not move her legs. Later, her mother sent her to an orphanage where the nuns told her the illness could have been prevented with shots.“My mother should have taken better care of me and taken me to a clinic,” says Hernandez, 43, who navigates the cobblestone streets and steep curbs of Antigua in a wheelchair. “They didn’t love me enough, and I’m ...
CDC tells parents, docs to watch for rare, neurologic condition in children this fall
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One morning at breakfast six years ago, as Dawn Sticklen’s healthy 13-year-old son tried to eat a bowl of cereal, his arms started shaking and got so weak he couldn’t feed himself.“We thought maybe it was because he had been sick for a few days and maybe he was just kinda weak from not eating properly,” said Sticklen, who lives in Joplin.“But he just kept saying it was getting harder and harder to move his arms. So we knew something was wrong. We got him in to see the doctors and they all were like, ‘this doesn’t look right.’ ”Joplin doctors sent the family to Children’s Mer...
The Kansas City Star
CDC predicts outbreak this month of rare childhood paralysis linked to virus
Starting this month, the United States should expect an outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a form of childhood paralysis thought to be caused by a viral infection, government health officials said Tuesday.Though AFM remains uncommon, it spikes in even-numbered years, with 238 cases identified in 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The agency has confirmed 16 such cases so far this year, but most are expected to occur in August through November.A new analysis of the 2018 outbreak found that 35% of patients were not hospitalized until at least two days after th...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Children's 'polio-like' illness may return in August. But a possible vaccine will cost millions to test
PHILADELPHIA — A few weeks after his 4th birthday, Fenton McEvoy came down with what seemed like an ordinary cold, except that his neck and right hand started to feel weak. Within 24 hours, he could not move his arms or legs.That was 2018, when the Georgia boy and more than 200 other children in the United States were diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, a debilitating disease that seems to surge every two years in late summer and fall. In 2016, 153 such cases were confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two years before that, the number was 120.If the pattern holds...
The Philadelphia Inquirer