Cute flaccid myelitis: Three new cases of rare polio-like illness emerge

Quinton Hill and his parents

Quinton Hill and his parents

One case was reported earlier this year.

Doctors call severe cases of AFM a polio-like illness where people will have paralyzed limbs.

Cases of the "polio-like" illness acute flaccid myelitis are surfacing among more children across the USA, with reports of the condition that can lead to paralysis and death coming in from several states over the last few days.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports nine clinically diagnosed cases in the state, while Minnesota's Department of Health is investigating six cases. It also does not include the cases in Minnesota or IL, as they are not confirmed. Between 2014 and 2018, the CDC received reports of more than 360 cases.

Most AFM sufferers notice sudden muscle weakness in their limbs and loss of reflexes. And there are other diseases that mimic the symptoms, such as West Nile virus and Guillain Barre syndrome.

"As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections".

Dr. Elizabeth Meade, chief of pediatrics at Swedish Pediatrics, says AFM is more common in kids and is especially associated with viruses. Now the downtown Chicago hospital says a second child is being treated there, but the family in the second case didn't want to be identified. It affects a person's nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. "We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly, and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care".

Dr. Rachel Herlihy, an epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News most of 2018's confirmed Colorado cases happened in mid- to late August and September.

In 2017, 33 cases were reported in 16 states.

The CDC says that both the cause and long-term effects of the disease remain unknown.

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. "While we don't know if it is effective in preventing AFM, washing your hands often with soap and water is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to other people".

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