Health Care

Kids In Minnesota With 'Polio-Like' Illness -Said Health Official

Kids In Minnesota With 'Polio-Like' Illness -Said Health Official

The polio-like illness is not new but there has been an increase in cases this year with at least eight reported in Texas.

It resembles polio, but unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM.

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

The CDC says less than 1 in a million Americans develop AFM a year.

Since 2015, the department had seen four cases of AFM, and the recent spike has officials working closely with health care providers to collect information to send to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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"The CDC has acknowledged that 362 cases of AFM have been reported since 2014, indicating an increasing infection rate", Klobuchar wrote in the letter.

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. Among the viruses that can cause AFM are West Nile virus and poliovirus.

Health departments in several states, including Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois and Washington are investigating confirmed cases in their areas, many of which are not included in the CDC's totals because they were confirmed after September 30th.

Some viruses and germs have been linked to AFM, including common germs that can cause colds and sore throats, and respiratory infections.

Doctors suspect it's a virus in the polio family, but overall it's poorly understood.

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All of the patients are children who have needed to be hospitalized, the department said, noting that "nearly all have fully recovered".

The children are being evaluated for AFM, a rare condition that affects the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said of those cases, 11 people tested positive for enterovirus A71, one tested positive for enterovirus D68 and two people tested negative for any type of enterovirus.

Orville was diagnosed with AFM and spent six days in the hospital. Nationwide, 38 cases in 16 states have been reported and there is still no known cause. After the 120 cases in 2014, there were 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016, and 33 previous year, according to the agency.

Nine cases were reported in Washington in 2016.

There is no cure, and some children have long-term disabilities because of it. Others make a full recovery or close to it. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.

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