Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

What is Acute Flaccid Myelitis? What Parents Need to Know

What is Acute Flaccid Myelitis? What Parents Need to Know

All of the patients are "from northern IL", according to the health department, but no other location information was provided.

Since 2015, when IL began monitoring reports of AFM in the state, four confirmed cases have been identified.

DSHS said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not know the cause of AFM or how it's contracted, but said there is a trend of spikes every other year. Other symptoms include facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, the CDC says.

It is believed that AFM can arise from a viral infection, although environmental and genetic factors could also cause the illness to develop.

The agency said it hasn't confirmed the cause for the majority of the cases, which primarily occur in children.

A few states, including Texas, have reported a rare polio-like illness in children and the CDC is paying attention.

At least two cases of a polio-like illness have been reported in Southeast Texas this year.

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There is no treatment other than managing each patient's symptoms.

"His right arm function went away and he couldn't stand up", said Justin Stravers.

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.

"While all the patients were hospitalized, almost all have fully recovered", the department stressed.

"The increase in AFM cases in 2014 coincided with a national outbreak of severe respiratory illness among people caused by enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)", the CDC notes on its website. While rare officials over the USA are dealing with a spike in cases. "So, we've seen that there's an association between viruses, specifically enterovirus, in the past".

A spokesperson for Oishei confirms the patient is "currently undergoing diagnostic procedures for suspected, but not confirmed acute flaccid myelitis", adding that doctors are "working closely with the NYS Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to evaluate the patient's condition and confirm their diagnosis". It weakens a person's muscles and nerves, according to the CDC. It also does not include the cases in Minnesota or IL, as they are not confirmed. An additional possible case of AFM was reported out of Skagit County on Thursday. One hundred forty-nine cases were reported in 39 states in 2016 and 22 cases in 17 states in 2015.

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