Six children have been diagnosed with a rare and potentially deadly polio-like disease in Minnesota, state health officials revealed Friday. For example, in Minnesota, cases of AFM were generally stagnant at about one case per year, but now six children have been confirmed to have AFM in 2018 alone.
A rare but potentially severe condition that causes weakness or even paralysis in the arms and legs of children is on the rise, the Centers for Disease and Control of USA says.
Causes of AFM include viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.
The disorder is called acute flaccid myelitis - or AFM, for short - and there has been an increase in cases across the USA since 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An investigation is underway to determine what caused these specific cases of AFM. Arm and leg weakness are common symptoms, but the disease can also involve facial weakness; difficulty swallowing, speaking and passing urine; numbness; and tingling.
There was a national uptick in AFM cases in 2014. AFM symptoms include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs, sometimes following a respiratory illness. "All recent Minnesota cases have been in children under 10 years old and all were hospitalized".
One victim, 5-year-old Carter Roberts of Chesterfield, Virginia, died last month after developing AFM in 2016. AFM cases have been reported from across the state, including the Twin Cities, central Minnesota, and northeastern Minnesota.
Karen Hacker says medical professionals are still trying to figure out what causes AFM.
The CDC does not yet know the long-term effects of AFM Some patients have recovered quickly, while others continue to have paralysis, it says.
An outbreak of a mysterious disease in Minnesota that doctors say resembles polio has left children partially paralyzed and health experts baffled.
If your child is experiencing any symptoms of AFM, you should contact your health care provider immediately. Polio is the most significant disease caused by an enterovirus. The CDC3 does not advocate the use of steroids, IVig, or plasma exchange in AFM, but individuals with AFM or caregivers of children with AFM should discuss treatment recommendations with their physician.
Two-year-old Julia Payne is one of two children being treated for AFM in Chicago. So, just be sure to practice smart prevention measures such as getting vaccinated, washing your hands and avoiding bug bites.