Rare 'polio-like' disease reported in Minnesota and Colorado

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The case reports are from individuals younger than 18 years of age and from northern IL. "However, some illnesses caused by EV-A71 and EV-D68 can be severe enough to require hospitalization".

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there have been 38 confirmed cases of AFM so far this year - with the most cases, 14, reported in Colorado and six in Minnesota.

At Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, physicians are treating some of the six Minnesota cases.

There was a cluster of nine cases of AFM in Washington state back in 2016 and three cases past year. A doctor can examine a patient's nervous system and the places on the body where he or she has weakness, poor muscle tone, and decreased reflexes.

The cause of AFM, and the reason for the rise in cases starting in 2014, is not known.

Symptoms of AFM include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing or talking. The CDC has not identified a germ that has been consistently found in every case of AFM, according to its website.

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Health departments in several states, including Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois and Washington are investigating confirmed cases in their areas, many of which are not included in the CDC's totals because they were confirmed after September 30th. It's possible that AFM has a variety of causes, including viruses (such as poliovirus and enteroviruses), environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC says.

Most of the eight cases of the illness reported in Texas are in the northern part of the state.

"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".

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital evaluated and cared for two patients with suspected AFM. After the 120 cases in 2014, there were 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016, and 33 past year, according to the agency. This is because CDC is asking doctors to be alert for patients with symptoms of AFM so that we can learn more about this condition.

The agency recommends staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing hands and protecting against mosquito bites as ways to prevent the disease. Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018.

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