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While the con­di­tion is sim­i­lar to po­lio, pa­tients test neg­a­tive for the po­liovirus, which has been elim­i­nated thanks to vac­cines. This year could be the worst to date, as there has been a ris­ing num­ber of cases with each out­break. More than half of the 238 chil­dren af­fected in 2018 needed in­ten­sive care, and a quar­ter of them were placed on a ven­ti­la­tor. The av­er­age age was five. There is no cure.

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