Outbreak of mysterious polio-like disease plagues residents in 22 states


The other case of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, occurred in August, and four others are under investigation in MA.

The MDH says the case is now being reviewed, and did not provide information regarding where in the state this particular case was diagnosed, or whether or not the child is in the hospital.

Most cases of weakness and paralysis have been in children. Some of the symptoms include sudden muscle weakness or paralysis in the arms or legs and weak or stiff neck.

"When these illnesses occur, it often means that the spread of the virus, the transmission of the virus, in the community is quite widespread and there probably are many persons, many children, affected just like when the flu comes to the community", Modlin said.

Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is rare, but the Centers for Disease Control said it has become more common recently. Another kind of virus is suspected, but it's been found in only some of the cases.

US health officials on Tuesday reported a jump in cases of a rare paralyzing illness in children, and said it seems to be following an every-other-year pattern.

State health officials in Minnesota issued an alert to doctors this month after six children there were diagnosed with AFM. Officials said it's too early to know whether the total for 2018 will surpass those previous years.

There were 120 cases in 2014 when the disease was first detected in the United States.

The CDC says disease prevention steps should be followed, including staying up to date on vaccines, washing hands and using mosquito repellant. Then in 2016, there were 149 confirmed cases.

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Dr. Leslie Benson, assistant director of Children's pediatric neuroimmunology program, said AFM patients show a wide spectrum of symptoms.

Lacking an established cause, health officials confirm cases through a review of brain scans and symptoms.

The mysterious polio-like disorder that's striking children around the country is growing, according to an update from federal health officials Tuesday.

More than 90 percent of cases are in children.

So far across the county, 62 cases of the rare polio-like neurological condition have been reported.

AFM can cause weakness and pain in the arms and legs.

"As a parent myself, I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", she said. The average age was 4.

States are not required to provide this information to the CDC but have been voluntarily reporting their data. "Kids may have a cold-like symptom, cough, congestion and fever, and what is alarming and frightening is they suddenly develop weakness, and typically it's in an arm or leg, and you can look at the list of symptoms, and it comes out of the blue".