Polio-Like Disease AFM Is Affecting Kids Around the Country

Quinton Hill and his parents

Quinton Hill and his parents

State health officials are telling doctors to be on the lookout for a rare disorder that causes paralysis after six Minnesota children were diagnosed with the disease in recent weeks.

AFM is a condition that affects the nervous system and causes muscle weakness, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The condition can cause the sudden paralysis of limbs by affecting the spinal cord.

Orville was diagnosed with AFM and spent six days in the hospital. So far this year, there have been 38 cases in 16 states, the CDC says.

To try and restore function to Maipele, Dr. Mitchel Seruya at Children's Hospital Los Angeles carried out a pioneering nerve transfer surgery. There were about 15 cases reported in August 2018. But those aren't the only signs: Other symptoms can include eyelid or facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, according to the state health department.

Additionally, the CDC has found a possible link between an increase in a respiratory virus and an increase of AFM.

"We didn't think anything was wrong until all of a sudden his neck froze up and he couldn't move his left arm", said James Hill. There, after more tests, she was diagnosed with a probable case of AFM.

The disease, health officials say, is hard to positively confirm by anyone other than a few specially trained neurologists. Many people compare the disease to polio because it can cause problems that are very similar to the poliovirus. "This is certainly the largest outbreak of enterovirus A71 we've seen in Colorado". Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018. We also send out a Weekly K+R Update, bundling together all the kidnap, ransom and extortion news of the week in one easy to read newsletter. Some people with AFM may be unable to pass urine (pee). This year, there was one case of AFM before the current batch of five affected children. And there are other diseases that mimic the symptoms, such as West Nile virus and Guillain Barre syndrome.

While there are no specific recommendations for avoiding AFM, you can help protect yourself from some of its known causes by: washing your hands often with soap and water, avoiding close contact with sick people, and cleaning surfaces with a disinfectant, especially those that a sick person has touched.

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