Suspected Acute flaccid myelitis case at Oishei Children's Hospital

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

"It's extremely uncommon this is not something that parents should be concerned about sending their children from school or anything but it's time to get back to the basics of how we prevent viruses from spreading", Dr. Drooping of the face or eyelids and trouble speaking or swallowing.

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

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 38 cases of AFM have been confirmed across 16 states including Pennsylvania. Instead, doctors just focus on alleviating symptoms as best they can. 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. "This condition is not new, but the increase in cases we saw starting in 2014 is new". With the help of testing and examinations, doctors can distinguish between AFM and other neurologic conditions.

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

The illness causes a weakening of the nerves and resembles polio. The most severe symptom of AFM is respiratory failure, which can require patients to be put on ventilators.

The CDC reported 362 total cases from August 2014 to August 2018 with a major rise in cases reported in 2016 across 39 states. These states include California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. 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.

The most common transmission of AFM is through a virus, exposure to environmental toxins and genetic disorders.

In Chicago, doctors say Julia Payne had an enterovirus that caused the AFM. "Among the people confirmed with AFM, CDC did not consistently detect EV-D68 in every patient". "It can affect people of any age, but you often see it in children", Adalja says.

Though the CDC says it's not necessarily proven to guard against AFM, they recommend frequent hand-washing with soap and water. Many people compare the disease to polio because it can cause problems that are very similar to the poliovirus. However, 11 of the Colorado cases of AFM have tested positive for EV A71, a rare type of enterovirus not usually seen in the USA, rather in Asia and other parts of the world, according to Herlihy. AFM can cause a range of types and severity of symptoms, but the commonality among them is a loss of strength or movement in one or more arms or legs.