Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Polio-like disease on the rise in Minnesota

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease Klobuchar Calls for CDC Investigation of Polio-Like Illness
Ben Pena | 12 October, 2018, 03:26

"In addition to investigating the outbreak, the state health department has issued alerts to health care providers on how to test for the viruses and enhanced guidance to child care centers on infection prevention".

He is advising parents to take their children to the emergency room if they notice any focal weakness.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, but a doctor who specializes in treating brain and spinal cord illnesses may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis.

Earlier this month, six Minnesota children were diagnosed with the disease.

We've been reporting about the polio-like illness affecting two children here in Chicago, nine in northern IL and others across the country, but how concerned should parents be about the spread to their children? Eight cases have been reported statewide.

Most of the eight cases of the illness reported in Texas are in the northern part of the state.

Five western Washington children under the age of 6 have been hospitalized for a "sudden onset of paralysis of one of more limbs". They may also experience drooping eyelids, facial droop and slurred speech, among other symptoms.

Between August 2014 and August 2018, the CDC received information on a total of 362 confirmed cases of AFM nationwide.

Michael crawls north, rising threat to Florida
The "risk of risky storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts continues to increase", the National Hurricane Center warned Sunday. He urged Floridians to get prepared for the storm and said he has activated 500 members of the Florida National Guard.

The doctor says there is no need to panic and there's no vaccine for the disease.

"What we don't know is why these common cold symptoms, why in some individuals does it turn into AFM that's where the mystery lies", said Dr. Sinner. This year along, there were 38 people diagnosed with AFM across 16 states.

At this point, doctors aren't required to report cases to the state, so it's possible there are others.

The cause of AFM, and the reason for the rise in cases starting in 2014, is not known. Many people compare the disease to polio because it can cause problems that are very similar to the poliovirus.

The condition is still very rare, occurring in fewer than one in a million people in the USA each year, the CDC says.

In 2016, there were nine cases of AFM in Washington and three in 2017.

The health department says there are no specific recommendations for avoiding AFM, but washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, and staying up-to-date on immunizations is recommended.

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