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Cute flaccid myelitis: Three new cases of rare polio-like illness emerge

11 October 2018

There have been dozens of cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in the US this year, including three at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

The Washington Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm if the children have AFM.

Read on for a look at the illness and what you should know about it.

Although acute flaccid myelitis is terrifying, Adalja says parents should not stay awake at night worrying about it. It attacks the nervous system and can lead to arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle reflexes. The illnesses are described as having "polio-like symptoms". While rare officials over the USA are dealing with a spike in cases.

What can cause the illness?

Acute flaccid myelitis is thought to happen after someone contracts a virus, like a poliovirus, West Nile virus, or adenovirus, the CDC says. It is believed that AFM can be contagious, and for this reason, isolation protocols are in place for patients who are confirmed to have the neurological illness.

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CBS 11 News reached out to Cook Children's for more information, but so far the hospital has only confirmed three cases of AFM and that they're looking at a suspected fourth case.

The condition is not new, but officials started to see a rise in cases in 2014.

The type of viruses found in 12 of the Colorado cases, enterovirus, typically increases in summer and fall and is common, the state department of health said. For example, in Minnesota, cases of AFM were generally stagnant at about one case per year, but now six children have been confirmed to have AFM in 2018 alone.

State and local health officials are investigating whether five children hospitalized with sudden limb paralysis may have a rare condition that affects the nervous system. All of those patients were under the age of 10 and were hospitalized around the middle of September, according to an October 5 news release.

A 2-year-old girl from Batavia is facing a long, hard recovery after contracting a rare polio-like disease that has been reported in children across the United States. The Minnesota Department of Health put out an alert last week, stating that six cases have been reported in children across that state over the past several weeks.

Cute flaccid myelitis: Three new cases of rare polio-like illness emerge