North Texas Children Among Those With Rare Polio-Like Illness

Quinton Hill and his parents

Quinton Hill and his parents

Of the 38 reported cases so far this year, 14 have been in Colorado, and six are under investigation in Minnesota, NBC News reported. Her parents told the Chicago Tribune that symptoms at first were on par with those of a common cold.

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.

Orville was diagnosed with AFM and spent six days in the hospital.

The disease typically affects children. "A person's arms and legs can become weak or paralyzed depending on the area of the spinal cord that is inflamed".

The children, who are all under the age of 6, all reportedly had symptoms of a respiratory illness in the week prior to developing symptoms of AFM.

Acute flaccid myelitis is thought to happen after someone contracts a virus, like a poliovirus, West Nile virus, or adenovirus, the CDC says.

The CDC reported 362 total cases from August 2014 to August 2018 with a major rise in cases reported in 2016 across 39 states.

Symptoms can include sudden arm or leg weakness, a loss of reflexes, facial droopiness or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, or slurred speech, the CDC says.

Doctors are encouraging people to practice what are called "general prevention strategies" - including washing your hands with soap and water, getting vaccinated and preventing mosquito bites. "This is a very rare condition", he stresses.

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