Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Rare, polio-like disease affecting children in USA, says CDC

Minnesota: Acute flaccid myelitis cases investigated across state Rare Polio-Like Illness Strikes 6 Minnesota Children
Ben Pena | 11 October, 2018, 04:15

According to the report of the state Department of Health, in Minnesota, there is one case per year of AFM and children are the most affected from this disease.

AFM is an illness that affects the nervous system, specifically the area of spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak.

While cases have been on the rise since 2014, AFM still affects a small population - less than one in a million people in the United States annually.

According to the state health officer, In Minnesota, 6 children have been diagnosed with a rare and a tough disease which is somehow like polio.

"It can be a complication following a viral infection, but environmental and genetic factors may also contribute to its development", the health department said Friday in a press release.

Without a clear cause, it's not possible to say whether more children will be diagnosed with AFM, Ehresmann says.

"While they have been looking for all different types of possible infectious reasons for this, they have not really been able to figure what's causing this, and there may be multiple causes". After treatment, the child was able to regain most of his muscle function, expect in his right arm, and is now in therapy, facing possible surgery.

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

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Minnesota typically sees, at most, one case of acute flaccid myelitis a year, so it's concerning that such a large group has presented with the illness at the same time.

Initial symptoms include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs.

Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM is considered a very rare condition, with fewer than 1 in 1 million people in the US getting the illness, the CDC said.

All six cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) have been reported since Sep.

If your child is experiencing any symptoms of AFM, you should contact your health care provider immediately.

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. There's still a lot doctors don't know about it, and there aren't specific treatments available. This virus is transmitted from person to person and it can have severe effects of the brain and spinal cord of the system. And there are other diseases that mimic the symptoms, such as West Nile virus and Guillain Barre syndrome.

Other symptoms include neck weakness, drooping eyelids and slurred speech, according to the state department.

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