Klobuchar Calls for CDC Investigation of Polio-Like Illness

Henrietta Strickland
October 11, 2018

"The CDC has acknowledged that 362 cases of AFM have been reported since 2014, indicating an increasing infection rate", Klobuchar wrote in the letter.

Symptoms of the rare disease include weakness and loss of muscle tone, facial droop or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes and difficulty swallowing and slurred speech.

For reasons not fully understood, AFM affects mainly children.

All the children showed systems of a respiratory illness the week before developing symptoms of AFM.

It's an afternoon at the park for mom Susie Wells and her little ones, she says her kid's health is her most important priority, so hearing about five children in western Washington with AFM caught her attention. The Minnesota Department of Health put out an alert last week, stating that six cases have been reported in children across that state over the past several weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they have information on more than 300 cases dating back to then across the country. It's also known as 'AFM'.

There have been 38 confirmed cases in 16 states so far.

"Of the AFM cases, 11 tested positive for enterovirus A71, one tested positive for enterovirus D68, and two tested negative for enteroviruses", the department said in an online statement Tuesday.

"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health, said.

"There's a sudden onset of weakness in the arm, leg, face, or the muscles that help us swallow and that we use to speak", says Dr. Amaran Moodley from the Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.

The condition has been linked to viruses, including one called EV-A71, a common cause of hand, foot and mouth disease.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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