'Polio-like' illness cases flaring up: Should you be concerned?

'Polio-like' illness cases flaring up: Should you be concerned?

'Polio-like' illness cases flaring up: Should you be concerned?

Symptoms of AFM include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing or talking.

The rare condition can be caused by a virus, a genetic disorder and environmental toxins. Treatment mainly boils down to alleviating those symptoms. "As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections". Usually, the state sees zero to one AFM cases a year.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the long-term effects of AFM are unknown. 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.

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"We have 41 cases of children who have had some sort of illness of enterovirus A71, which is causing a wide spectrum of neurological illness", Herlihy said. A 2-year-old girl was recently diagnosed in the Chicago area, and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh confirmed that three children are now being treated for AFM at their facility. Since that time, more than 360 new cases of AFM were reported. Some people may be unable to urinate, and, in severe cases, a person can suffer respiratory failure and must be put on a ventilator.

However, a person can catch a virus from someone that leads to AFM.

Outside of IL, there are now a few dozen cases of AFM in the United States.

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There is no vaccine for AFM or a vaccine for enterovirus, a virus doctors know is associated with AFM. The CDC says the condition is not new but there's been an increase in cases starting in 2014.

The CDC recommends getting children vaccinated against the poliovirus, as well as protecting against bites from mosquitos (which carry the West Nile virus). While rare officials over the US are dealing with a spike in cases. "A person's arms and legs can become weak or paralyzed depending on the area of the spinal cord that is inflamed".

Herlihy the best prevention is frequent hand-washing and keeping kids home when they are sick.

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If your child has any symptoms of AFM (limb weakness, facial weakness/drooping, difficulty speaking or swallowing), seek medical attention right away.

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