Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

11 October, 2018, 18:55 | Author: Kara Nash
  • 6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

The illness is called acute flaccid myelitis (also called AFM). Potential causes can be viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC said.

However, 11 of the Colorado cases of AFM have tested positive for EV A71, a rare type of enterovirus not usually seen in the USA but instead in Asia and other parts of the world, according to Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the Colorado state epidemiologist.

Other AFM symptoms may include: facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. "Anytime there are more than one or two cases in a small region, it is something to pay attention to", said Wells.

Since Sept. 20, six children under the age of 10 have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a serious nervous system condition that is believed to affect the spinal cord and gray matter, causing muscle weakness, which can lead to paralysis, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

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.

The CDC says the number of cases appears to increase and decrease from one year to the next.

"This is certainly the largest outbreak of enterovirus A71 we've seen in Colorado", she said.


With cases on the rise, parents like Wells say she'll keep those symptoms in mind.

The children were hospitalized after experiencing "sudden onset of paralysis of one or more limbs".

The Washington Department of Heath said Wednesday that the children are 6 or younger.

The condition is still very rare, occurring in fewer than one in a million people in the USA each year, the CDC says.

Outside of IL, there are now a few dozen cases of AFM in the United States. Treatment mainly boils down to alleviating those symptoms.

In 2017, three cases and five so far in 2018.

Since August 2014, when the CDC began tracking the illness more closely, the agency has reported 362 cases. So, just be sure to practice smart prevention measures such as getting vaccinated, washing your hands and avoiding bug bites. 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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