Polio-Like Disease AFM Is Affecting Kids Around the Country

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This follows an unusual rise this year in cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in several states. Potential causes can be viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC said.

- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling on the federal government to look into recent cases of a rare illness after six cases were reported in Minnesota.

AFM is a polio-like illness that affects a person's nervous system, including the spinal cord. Most cases are in children.

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.

In the past, Minnesota may only see one case in a year.

She referred to these 11 cases as an outbreak within an outbreak.

Previously, only four cases had been reported in IL since 2015.

The Washington State Department of Health is working with Centers for Disease Control experts to determine if the cases are acute flaccid myelitis (AFM).

Most AFM sufferers notice sudden muscle weakness in their limbs and loss of reflexes.

Separate from these five cases of illness, there has been one other case of AFM in Washington this year and there were three cases identified in 2017, according to the health department. So, just be sure to practice smart prevention measures such as getting vaccinated, washing your hands and avoiding bug bites. "They may have difficulty moving their eyes and some have slurred speech or difficulty swallowing; so very rare symptoms that you wouldn't expect to see in a child, so can be picked up very quickly", said Dr. Kevin Most, Northwestern.

There have been 38 confirmed cases in 16 states so far. This does not include all of the 14 cases announced by Colorado, as some of those cases were confirmed after September 30.

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

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.

Two cases were reported in King County. After the 120 cases in 2014, there were 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016, and 33 previous year, according to the agency.

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