Rare 'polio-like' disease reported in Minnesota and Colorado

Henrietta Strickland
October 11, 2018

She was later diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis and has been undergoing treatment for the last month at Lurie Children's Hospital. Usually, the state sees zero to one AFM cases a year. "The CDC has been asking us to pay attention to this for quite a while".

On Monday, news broke that six children in Minnesota have been infected with the rare disease that causes lowered mobility or paralysis in the arms and legs.

This disease affects the nervous system, specifically the area of a person's spinal cord called gray matter, according to the CDC. Numbness or tingling is rare in people with AFM, although some people have pain in their arms or legs.

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

Symptoms of AFM include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing or talking. Some people may be unable to urinate, and, in severe cases, a person can suffer respiratory failure and must be put on a ventilator.

The above graphic shows how AFM affects the nervous system.       CDC
The above graphic shows how AFM affects the nervous system. CDC

AFM cases first spiked in the United States in August 2014.

A 2-year-old girl from Batavia is facing a long, hard recovery after contracting a rare polio-like disease that has been reported in children across the United States. It can also be caused by poliovirus and non-polio enteroviruses, mosquito-borne viruses (such as West Nile virus or Zika virus) and possibly by non-infectious conditions.

While there is no cure, health experts say you should take preventative measures including washing your hands or coughing into your elbow.

"UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is taking care of three children with suspected Acute Flaccid Myelitis".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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