Florida toddler hospitalized with polio-like illness

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AFM is an illness that affects the nervous system, causing muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak or even paralyzed.

The CDC announced Wednesday that Acute Flaccid Myelitis has spread to 22 states, with more than 62 confirmed cases nationwide. More than 90 percent of the confirmed cases have been in children 18 and younger, with the average age being 4 years old. Fall 2018 represents the third surge of AFM cases, which seem to spike in late summer and early fall, as Buzzfeed notes.

So far there are five suspected cases of Acute Flaccid Myeltitis, or AFM, this year in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Most cases of weakness and paralysis have been in children. So while it is a scary condition, it is also extremely rare and affects less than one in every million people in the U.S. - even with the spike in cases. Right now the CDC says the likelihood of someone developing AFM is one in 1 million. Minnesota has seen seven cases in children this year alone.

"In terms of the diseases I usually deal with, say if it's measles, we know the incubation period, we know the infectious period".

The CDC has not traced the illness to a specific virus, but the agency said it has a variety of causes including viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have taken the significant step of issuing a public warning about an outbreak of a mysterious new disease that causes symptoms that are eerily similar to polio, reports the Washington Post.

The number is almost double the amount observed in 2017, when 33 AFM cases were found in the US.

State and national health authorities are raising the alarm about a polio-like "mystery illness" that has left dozens of children with paralysis and other symptoms in MA and 21 other states.

A main symptom of AFM is the onset of sudden muscle weakness in the arms and legs.

Cases have been reported in 22 states, including some in our area.

The most serious complication of AFM is respiratory failure.

The long-term effects are not known, and outcomes have been different for patients, with some recovering quickly and others having lasting paralysis and requiring ongoing care.

Although there is unlikely to be a vaccine or specific treatment anytime soon, there are still things researchers can do to combat AFM, Messacar says, such as keeping better track of enterovirus D68 and A71 infections, learning more about the link between the viruses and AFM, and understanding the genetic changes that have occurred in enterovirus D68 to make it more risky.

The symptoms to watch out for include weakness in an arm, or both arms and trouble walking.

The CDC is actively investigating and monitoring disease activity and recommends taking standard prevention measures such as hand-washing, protecting oneself from mosquito bites and staying up-to-date on vaccinations. However, experts say that initial indications from a small number of cases suggest a grim outlook.

"As a parent myself, I understand what it is like to be scared for your child".

Katy Payne, a mother from IL, who was interviewed, said about her daughter: "I took her to the ER because she turned blue".

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