Polio-Like Condition in Kids on Rise Again in US

Henrietta Strickland
October 11, 2018

As many as 20 children in two states have been recently diagnosed with a rare "polio-like" disease that causes muscle weakness, health officials said.

The Washington State Department of Health is working with Centers for Disease Control experts to determine if the cases are acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). "The CDC has been asking us to pay attention to this for quite a while". "We're working closely with medical providers and public health agencies".

The poorly understood illness is thought to attack the body's nervous system.

Symptoms include a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and difficulty moving facial muscles.

Of the 38 reported cases so far this year, 14 have been in Colorado, and six are under investigation in Minnesota, NBC News reported. The Minnesota cases have been diagnosed since September 20, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, which says officials are working "aggressively" with health care providers to try to gather more information about the cases.

AFM has a variety of causes, the CDC said, including genetic disorders, viruses and environmental toxins.

Doctors are encouraging people to practice what are called "general prevention strategies" - including washing your hands with soap and water, getting vaccinated and preventing mosquito bites.

The CDC must review case information to confirm the cases under observation in Pittsburgh, a process which could take a few weeks, Scarpino said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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