Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Five children in Washington state stricken with limb paralysis; health officials investigating

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease Klobuchar Calls for CDC Investigation of Polio-Like Illness
Steve Townsend | 14 October, 2018, 08:49

The illnesses are described as having "polio-like symptoms".

Acute flaccid myelitis has been diagnosed in at least six Minnesota children and health officials admit there are gaps in our understanding of the disease, including its causes and how to treat it.

Six is the highest number of cases Minnesota has ever seen.

"The CDC has indicated there might be some increases in cases, and in mid-September we advised health care providers to be vigilant and report to the health department so that we can pass on the information to the CDC", Arnold said. In particular, the condition can cause weakness in the arms and legs along with loss of muscle tone and problems with reflexes.

Since August 2014, when the CDC began tracking the illness more closely, the agency has reported 362 cases.

Most affected by AFM will experience a sudden onset of weakness or paralysis in a limb, but some may also experience drooping face and eye muscles, difficulty swallowing or difficulty moving the eyes, according to the CDC.

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

Majority of Americans Oppose Kavanaugh's Confirmation
Supreme Court nomiinee Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington on September 4, 2018. Speaking before well-wishers, Kavanaugh said that while the confirmation process "tested" him, his "approach" remains the same.


Orville is just one of 38 confirmed cases of AFM this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The causes of AFM vary from viruses to environmental toxins to genetic disorders, according to the health department. She is now being treated at Lurie Children's Hospital.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, but a doctor who specializes in treating brain and spinal cord illnesses (neurologist) may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis.

Doctors now don't know a lot about how AFM spreads.

Doctors will likely examine areas of the body the patient says are feeling weakened. Officials said most of the cases are associated with a strain of enterovirus.

"While all the patients were hospitalized, almost all have fully recovered". A 2016 report found there were 120 cases recorded across 34 states from August through December 2014.

Herlihy noted it's "quite rare" to suffer neurological complications like AFM, encephalitis and meningitis from enteroviruses. Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018.

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