Saturday, 15 December, 2018


3 children with Polio-like illness In North Texas

Stock image of a sick child Stock image of a sick child
Patty Aguilar | 11 October, 2018, 07:16

Thirty-eight confirmed cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis have been diagnosed this year through the end of September, according to the CDC, including 14 in Colorado and six in Minnesota.

AFM can develop from a viral infection, although its exact cause is unknown. It is actively investigating AFM cases, and trying to unearth more information about the rare condition. "It's incredibly heartbreaking to see this".

"The CDC has indicated there might be some increases in cases, and in mid-September we advised health care providers to be vigilant and report to the health department so that we can pass on the information to the CDC", Arnold said. Then, cases spiked again to 149 in 2016.

She was later diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, and has been undergoing treatment for a month at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital. Symptoms typically begin with a fever or cough, followed by sudden weakness in limbs, drooping of the eyes, slurred speech or difficulty swallowing.

AFM affects the nervous system and causes, mostly in children, paralysis similar to polio. They come from all over the state, including the Twin Cities area and northeastern and central Minnesota.

Despite the increase, the condition is still considered very rare, occurring in fewer than one in a million people in the US each year.

Mertz still recommends staying up to date on vaccinations and practicing good hygiene to prevent spreading germs. A clinical diagnosis, which was given in the state's six new cases, involves an MRI and a scan or a tap of the spine, which detects inflammation associated with AFM. In 2014, a large outbreak coincided with a national outbreak of severe respiratory illness causes by enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), but intensive investigations have not consistently found a specific pathogen in spinal fluid samples. A 2-year-old girl was recently diagnosed in the Chicago area, and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh confirmed that three children are now being treated for AFM at their facility.

Kris Ehresmann with the state Health Department advises parents, "Any kind of acute muscle weakness in their kids, in arms and legs, that obviously doesn't have anything to do with spraining your ankle at soccer, that definitely they should seek medical attention".

In 2017, 33 cases were reported in 16 states.

"A lot of these people do require prolonged amounts of physical therapy to get their strength back up", says Cleveland Clinic pediatric infectious disease expert Dr.

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