Minnesota kids suffer rare, polio-like disorder

Minnesota kids suffer rare, polio-like disorder

AFM affects the nervous system, specifically, the central region of the spinal cord which is filled with grey matter-a type of nerve cell.

Health officials in Minnesota are telling doctors to be on the lookout for a rare disorder called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

The reported IL cases are preliminary diagnoses and only the U.S. Centers for Disease Control can confirm the diagnosis, according to Arnold. Just 362 cases were reported across the country between August 2014 and August 2018. She also requested the agency answer seven questions about its response efforts by October 16 and conduct a member-level briefing for senators seeking more information on the issue.

Finally, although it's unknown whether it's effective in preventing AFM, the CDC notes washing your hands often with soap and water is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Disease investigators believe this was linked to an outbreak of a respiratory illness in children that was caused by a virus known as enterovirus D68 (EVD68).

Two-year-old Julia Payne is one of two children being treated for AFM in Chicago. This disease, AFM is not exactly like polio as it has no vaccination. Then, cases spiked again to 149 in 2016.

However, he said it wouldn't be surprising to see an enterovirus fill an infectious disease niche left by polio, given that polio is also caused by an enterovirus.

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Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM remains a very rare condition. By the end of 2014, 120 people had been diagnosed in 34 states. It can also be a cause of paralysis in the body.

None of those cases are in Olmsted County, but it's still a concern across the state. Minnesota saw three cases of AFM during that year.

Health department officials urged parents to monitor their children for potential symptoms such as neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids or a facial droop as well as difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

Quinton Hill is one of six cases of AFM in Minnesota reported since September 20.

For example, a neurologist may recommend physical or occupational therapy to help with arm or leg weakness. Acute flaccid myelitis is tricky to diagnose and may require tests of spinal fluid, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, it recommends practicing disease prevention measures, including staying up-to-date on vaccines and protecting yourself from mosquito bites.

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