Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Polio-Like Condition in Kids on Rise Again in US

Sen. Amy Klobuchar Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Celia Hoffman | 11 October, 2018, 13:00

The Washington Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm if the children have AFM.

Read on for a look at the illness and what you should know about it. Symptoms can include facial muscle weakness, seen as droopiness; issues moving the eyes or droopy eyelids; issues swallowing; or slurred speech.

The causes of AFM are unknown, but it can develop as a result of a viral infection.

What can cause the illness?

However, it can be hard to detect how patients actually get AFM. Most of the cases nationwide have been in children.

More news: EU far-right leaders take on Brussels

The condition, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), was first identified in 2014, when there were 120 cases, NBC News reported. After the 120 cases in 2014, there were 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016, and 33 past year, according to the agency.

"Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM remains a very rare condition".

AFM typically affects young children and creates polio-like symptoms. 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. Back in 2016, Washington state had 10 cases of AFM. "There have been no deaths".

"These are all children under five", said Chas DeBolt, a senior epidemiologist for vaccine-preventable disease at the Department of Health. The majority were in the Denver metropolitan area, she added.

"There's a sudden onset of weakness in the arm, leg, face, or the muscles that help us swallow and that we use to speak", says Dr. Amaran Moodley from the Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. Disease investigators think this was linked to an outbreak of a respiratory illness in children that was caused by a virus known as enterovirus D 68.

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