Kids In Minnesota With 'Polio-Like' Illness -Said Health Official

Rare illness leaves 3-year-old boy paralyzed

Minnesota: Acute flaccid myelitis cases investigated across state

At least six children in the state have been diagnosed and hospitalized with acute flaccid myelitis (or AFM) since September 20. For example, in Minnesota, cases of AFM were generally stagnant at about one case per year, but now six children have been confirmed to have AFM in 2018 alone. "Cases are all under age 3 years with no underlying medical conditions", the state said in a health alert to doctors last June. "It's incredibly heartbreaking to see this". The department is also in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to share information. A 2-year-old girl was recently diagnosed in the Chicago area, and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh confirmed that three children are now being treated for AFM at their facility. The initial symptoms of AFM in children include facial drooping, limb weakness and trouble in talking and swallowing. The condition can become life-threatening when muscles involved in breathing become so weak that the patient goes into respiratory failure, or when the disease triggers serious neurologic complications, the CDC says.

Quinton has lost a lot of the strength in his left arm, along with some weakness in his legs and neck.

Up through September of this year, 38 cases of AFM have been confirmed in 16 states, according to the CDC, and 362 people have contracted AFM since August 2014. They come from all over the state, including the Twin Cities area and northeastern and central Minnesota.

It's believed that the condition can develop following a viral infection, and indeed, the parents of two of the patients say their children started to develop symptoms after getting a cold. Polio once caused regular epidemics until vaccination wiped it out across most of the world.

"But it won't tell us what's causing the AFM, which virus, which process, that part we still don't know", Dr. Esper says.

"As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections", Ms. Klobuchar wrote in the letter. This is very alarming as it is usually seen in only one case per year in that state. While there is no specific treatment for AFM, doctors may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis. It affects a person's nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. West Nile virus can also lead to the illness so taking steps to protect your family from mosquito bites, including using mosquito repellent, staying indoors at dusk and dawn when bites are more common, and removing standing or stagnant water near your home, can also help.

Altre Notizie