3 children with Polio-like illness In North Texas

Glen Mclaughlin
October 14, 2018

Since then, more than 350 cases of the illness have been reported in the USA over a four-year period.

Doctors call severe cases of AFM a polio-like illness where people will have paralyzed limbs.

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. Cases have been reported in the metro, central and northeastern Minnesota.

All six cases under investigation were in children under six years old.

There was a cluster of nine cases of AFM in Washington state back in 2016 and three cases a year ago. In particular, the condition can cause weakness in the arms and legs along with loss of muscle tone and problems with reflexes. The CDC reviews medical information on all reported clinical cases to classify cases as AFM.

CDC specialists will make the final determination as to whether the cases in Washington are AFM, state health officials said.

"All cases are among infants and children under age six who all reportedly had symptoms of a respiratory illness in the week prior to developing symptoms of AFM", the Washington State Department of Health said in a statement Wednesday.

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The causes of AFM are unknown, but it can develop as a result of a viral infection.

Doctors suspect it's a virus in the polio family, but overall it's poorly understood. It says that most patients afflicted by the disease are children and that scientists have not yet determined a single pathogen detected in patients' spinal fluid that causes AFM.

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

Much is still unknown about AFM and often, a cause for AFM can not be identified.

"Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place, and we are working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions", Kunicky said. A 2016 report found there were 120 cases recorded across 34 states from August through December 2014. They recommend as prevention regular hand-washing and avoiding mosquito bites.

The CDC3 does not advocate the use of steroids, IVig, or plasma exchange in AFM, but individuals with AFM or caregivers of children with AFM should discuss treatment recommendations with their physician.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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