Klobuchar Calls for CDC Investigation of Polio-Like Illness

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that two Chicago-area children are being treated at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago for the illness - including 2-year-old Julia Payne, who has been fighting the illness for almost a month.

Also see | What is acute flaccid myelitis, the mysterious polio-like disorder affecting kids? Its origins are a mystery, but officials say a virus can cause some cases. "A person's arms and legs can become weak or paralyzed depending on the area of the spinal cord that is inflamed". Symptoms typically include sudden weakness in one or more arms or legs, along with loss of muscle tone and decreased or absent reflexes. The cause of any individual case of AFM can be hard to determine, and often, no cause is found. CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM. "As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections".

There is no treatment for this disease. By the end of that year, 120 people had been diagnosed in 34 states. "It nearly has to run its course and then you see where it settles out", he adds. It can also be caused by poliovirus and non-polio enteroviruses, mosquito-borne viruses (such as West Nile virus or Zika virus) and possibly by non-infectious conditions.

The Health Department says there are no specific recommendations for avoiding AFM, but recommends washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding close contact with sick people, cleaning surfaces with a disinfectant, and staying up-to-date on recommended immunizations.

"UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is taking care of three children with suspected Acute Flaccid Myelitis".