Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Polio-like disease that's paralyzing kids now in Chicago, Pittsburgh

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease UPMC confirms 3 suspected cases of rare disease that paralyzes children
Celia Hoffman | 10 October, 2018, 22:06

On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health announced there have been a total of six reports of pediatric acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) since September 20.

CBS 11 News reached out to Cook Children's for more information, but so far the hospital has only confirmed three cases of AFM and that they're looking at a suspected fourth case. "The patients are now undergoing diagnostic procedures and treatment", the hospital said in a statement to Pittsburgh's Channel 11. "The CDC has been asking us to pay attention to this for quite a while".

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.

Though officials have observed a rise in cases since 2014, the condition's origins remain unclear. "It's very polio-like in presentation", infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

AFM is a weakening of the nerves that causes partial paralysis in children.

The CDC states that AFM targets the spinal cord, which can lead to weakness in the muscles.

More news: Christian bakery wins appeal in Supreme Court 'gay cake' case

Symptoms of AFM include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing or talking. Potential causes can be viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC said.

There is no treatment for this disease.

Again, this is a rare condition.

AFM cases first spiked in the United States in August 2014. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.

Although acute flaccid myelitis is terrifying, Adalja says parents should not stay awake at night worrying about it.

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