IL investigating 9 ‘sporadic’ cases of polio-like illness in children

Illinois investigating 9 ‘sporadic’ cases of polio-like illness in children | Belleville News-Democrat

9 cases of Polio-like illness confirmed in Illinois

Two children in IL have been diagnosed with a rare Polio-like illness that is seeing a sudden uptick, mainly in kids, across the US.

Most of the cases logged by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been children. And while anyone can contract an enterovirus - it can be the source of, for instance, the common cold - not everyone will develop AFM, said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, the medical director for the pediatric intensive care unit at Lurie. In some cases, the cause of AFM remains unknown.

The infection is similar to viruses like polio and West Nile that affect the nervous system - especially the spinal cord - causing muscles and reflexes to become weak.

"Illinois has monitored this syndrome since 2014 when it was first described by CDC".

An Illinois Department of Public Health statement said they are working with doctors to collect information on the nine cases reported.

Symptoms include facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. AFM has been compared to polio because the condition can lead to paralysis.

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