Polio-like disease on the rise in Minnesota

Leslie Hanson
October 11, 2018

There have been dozens of cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in the US this year, including three at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. The Minnesota cases have been diagnosed since September 20, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, which says officials are working "aggressively" with health care providers to try to gather more information about the cases. Fourteen cases have been reported in Colorado and six in Minnesota, majority children.

Health officials are warning parents to be on the lookout for symptoms.

The disease typically affects children.

The CDC states that AFM targets the spinal cord, which can lead to weakness in the muscles. Numbness or tingling is rare in people with AFM, although some people have pain in their arms or legs.


"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. The cause of any individual case of AFM can be hard to determine, and often, no cause is found. CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM. Some people with AFM may be unable to urinate.

Again, this is a rare condition.

Nine cases of AFM were reported in Washington state in 2016. It can also be caused by poliovirus and non-polio enteroviruses, mosquito-borne viruses (such as West Nile virus or Zika virus) and possibly by non-infectious conditions. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.

"UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is taking care of three children with suspected Acute Flaccid Myelitis".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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