39 kids in NY have had virus linked to polio-like illness

Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

The Illinois Department of Public Health says there are now ten suspected cases of an uncommon disease affecting the nervous system in northern Illinois children.

Possible causes of AFM include viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Authorities say they have no confirmed cases of the nervous system condition called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, in NY. Experts don't know what causes it. All the recent cases in Minnesota were in children under the age of 10. In the case of the Batavia child, doctors say Julia Payne contracted what's known as an enterovirus and that was the cause of her AFM.

From August 2014 to August 2018, the CDC reported receiving information that there had been a total of 362 cases, most of which affected children. Those who contract AFM face paralysis, long-term health problems and even death. So far this year, cases have been reported in 16 states.

The most severe symptom of AFM is respiratory failure that can happen when the muscles involved with breathing become weak.

As of now no AFM cases have been reported in Southern Illinois.