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Five kids hospitalized with rare sudden limb paralysis
12 October 2018, 03:24 | Rodolfo Wallace
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"While all the patients were hospitalized, almost all have fully recovered", the department stressed.
"The state health department has been monitoring this situation closely since early spring", the department said. Symptoms can include: sudden onset of limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes, facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids and difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. Potential causes can be viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC said.
Also this week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that 14 cases of AFM have occurred in the state this year. "So, we've seen that there's an association between viruses, specifically enterovirus, in the past".
She referred to these 11 cases as an outbreak within an outbreak.
Other states have also reported cases.
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All of the cases are in patients younger than 18 and have been clinically diagnosed by health care providers, the statement said.
For the first nine months of this year, 38 people in 16 states have been confirmed to have AFM. "CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM".
All of the patients are from northern IL, according to the health department, but no other location information was provided. Since that time, more than 360 new cases of AFM were reported. Only one case has been confirmed this year, but officials are still investigating the latest possible cases.
The illness causes a weakening of the nerves and resembles polio. The CDC has not identified a germ that has been consistently found in every case of AFM, according to its website. The patients are now undergoing diagnostic procedures and treatments. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.
According to the Washington Department of Health, the children are being evaluated for acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare condition that affects a person's nervous system and can cause paralysis. This does not include all of the 14 cases announced by Colorado, as some of those cases were confirmed after September 30. Since 2015, four cases reviewed by CDC experts have been counted in IL. From August 2014 through August 2018, the CDC has been notified of 362 cases of the illness, mostly in children.
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