Rare, polio-like paralyzing disorder affecting children on the rise, CDC says

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Rare Polio-Like Illness Strikes 6 Minnesota Children

The condition, which affects mainly children, attacks the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken.

The CDC does not yet know the long-term effects of AFM Some patients have recovered quickly, while others continue to have paralysis, it says.

The reported IL cases are preliminary diagnoses and only the U.S. Centers for Disease Control can confirm the diagnosis, according to Arnold. Polio is the most significant disease caused by an enterovirus.

All six cases occurred since mid-September among children under 10, the Minnesota Department of Health announced last week, and all of the children have been hospitalized. It is a neurological condition that impacts the brain and the spinal cord, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no cure for AFM.

The exact reasons that the condition appears are not known, but neurological conditions have a variety of triggers, such as viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC said. Cook Children's Medical Center has diagnosed three patients with AFM in 2018. Arm and leg weakness are common symptoms, but the disease can also involve facial weakness; difficulty swallowing, speaking and passing urine; numbness; and tingling.

He is advising parents to take their children to the emergency room if they notice any focal weakness. Minnesota saw three AFM cases that year.

EV-A71 can cause hand, food, and mouth disease, primarily in children younger than 5. The disease was most prevalent in 2014 when 120 cases, most in Colorado and California, were reported.

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"Most of the cases [of AFM] that CDC has learned about have been in children", the CDC writes on its website.

AFM cases first spiked in the United States in August 2014.

Officials said all of them had symptoms of a respiratory illness the week before they developed symptoms of AFM.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for AFM, but doctors might recommend certain interventions, depending on the case.

Two-year-old Julia Payne is one of two children being treated for AFM in Chicago.

After several tests, doctors were only able to find a diagnosis after a second MRI, finding abnormality throughout his entire spinal cord. The viruses that are accounted to cause AFM may be contagious from one person to another or may be spread by a mosquito or other vector depending on which virus causes the AFM.

"Not because it's happening more it's just that we're recognizing it more", Dr. Esper says. Staying update on recommended immunizations is also important to avoiding vaccine preventable illnesses.

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