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giftedviz.com October 17, 2018


Health Officials: 6 Kids Diagnosed With Rare Disorder That Affects Spinal Cord

11 October 2018, 04:16 | Rodolfo Wallace

Rare Polio-Like Illness Strikes 6 Minnesota Children

Minnesota: Acute flaccid myelitis cases investigated across state

Six children in Minnesota have been diagnosed with a rare "polio-like" disease since mid-September, state health officials said.

A rare but potentially severe condition that causes weakness or even paralysis in the arms and legs of children is on the rise, the Centers for Disease and Control of U.S. says.

Acute Flaccid Myelitis, which has been found mostly in children, has seen a rise in cases since 2014, but still affects less than one in a million people in the United States annually, according to the CDC. Possible causes may include viruses, such as the poliovirus, West Nile virus, and adenoviruses, as well as environmental toxins or genetic factors.

However, there has been a national uptick in cases of AFM since 2014, with 362 cases recorded between 2014 and 2018, according to the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health.

"Since we don't know, really, how it's transmitted, it's really hard to say if we'll see more cases", she says. While uncommon, AFM is serious and can lead to paralysis or even death.

Its symptoms are likened to those caused by polio, which was eradicated in the USA thanks to the polio vaccine. In Minnesota, three cases of the disease were reported in 2014, but since then the number had dropped until the latest outbreak.

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Children have been attacked by this disease since September mid. After treatment, the child was able to regain most of his muscle function, expect in his right arm, and is now in therapy, facing possible surgery.

Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM is considered a very rare condition, with fewer than 1 in 1 million people in the USA getting the illness, the CDC said.

MDH disease investigators are working aggressively with health care providers to gather information about the cases.

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare condition.

Most affected by AFM will experience a sudden onset of weakness or paralysis in a limb, but some may also experience drooping face and eye muscles, difficulty swallowing or difficulty moving the eyes, according to the CDC. There is one more case that is being looked at by the CDC that could make a fourth. The CDC3 does not advocate the use of steroids, IVig, or plasma exchange in AFM, but individuals with AFM or caregivers of children with AFM should discuss treatment recommendations with their physician. It affects a person's nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. So, just be sure to practice smart prevention measures such as getting vaccinated, washing your hands and avoiding bug bites.



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