6 Minnesota children sickened by polio-like illness — CDC

Leslie Hanson
October 11, 2018

By the end of that year, 120 people had been diagnosed in 34 states.

From August 2014 through August 2018, CDC has received information on a total of 362 cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) across the United States; most of the cases continue to occur in children. These cases coincided with a severe respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D68. It can also be a cause of paralysis in the body.

Seven-year-old Quinton Hill from Lakeville is one of those six confirmed cases.

"But it won't tell us what's causing the AFM, which virus, which process, that part we still don't know", Dr. Esper says.

CDC has tested many different specimens from AFM patients for a wide range of pathogens (germs) that can cause AFM.

"As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections", Ms. Klobuchar wrote in the letter.

Normally when the people get affected with this disease, more than half of them don't recognize these symptoms as polio doesn't have any visible symptoms.

A study of children diagnosed with AFM in Colorado in 2014 found that a lot of them were better one year later, although most also had residual weakness in their arms and legs.

"We know that enteroviruses, especially EV-A71, have been associated with acute flaccid myelitis", Herlihy told NBC News. But in very rare cases, they can damage the nerves.

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. Treatment and therapy can restore lost mobility over time, but a loss of the muscular function to breathe can be deadly.

One victim, 5-year-old Carter Roberts of Chesterfield, Virginia, died last month after developing AFM in 2016.

All six were under the age of 10 and reported weakness and paralysis in the arms and legs.

But there's not much else that parents can do to protect their children.

"It's always important to practice disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands, and protecting yourself from mosquito bites", the CDC said on a page devoted to AFM.

It's believed that the condition can develop following a viral infection, and indeed, the parents of two of the patients say their children started to develop symptoms after getting a cold.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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