'Polio-like' illness cases flaring up: Should you be concerned?

'Polio-like' illness cases flaring up: Should you be concerned?

Acute Flacid Myelitis or paralysis (AFM) is a rare disorder that is increasing in prevalence.

CDC specialists will make the final call on whether these cases are in fact AFM. "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. These symptoms are remarkably similar to polio or the West Nile Virus. "As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections", Klobuchar wrote.

Symptoms include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing. The Minnesota Department of Health put out an alert last week, stating that six cases have been reported in children across that state over the past several weeks.

Five Western Washington children have been hospitalized with a possible nervous system illness.

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Doctors now don't know a lot about how AFM spreads. All of those patients were under the age of 10 and were hospitalized around the middle of September, according to an October 5 news release.

There was a national uptick in AFM cases in 2014. "There have been no deaths".

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. The majority were in the Denver metropolitan area, she added. "We want to be better to better understand the epidemiology of the disease".

Herlihy noted it's "quite rare" to suffer neurological complications like AFM, encephalitis and meningitis from enteroviruses.

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