Polio-Like Disease AFM Is Affecting Kids Around the Country

Quinton Hill and his parents

According to data obtained Thursday from the Texas Department of State Health Services, one case of acute flaccid myelitis has been reported in Harris County and another case has been reported in Galveston County.

Doctors at Oishei Children's Hospital are looking into a suspected case of Acute flaccid myelitis - a rare polio-like condition that causes partial paralysis in kids.

It has been compared to polio because the condition can also lead to paralysis.

AFM or similar neurologic conditions may have a variety of possible causes such as viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders.

Cases of a rare illness that mainly affects children are being reported across the country.

"It's extremely uncommon this is not something that parents should be concerned about sending their children from school or anything but it's time to get back to the basics of how we prevent viruses from spreading", Dr.

Other AFM symptoms may include: facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech.

CDC specialists will make the final determination as to whether the cases in Washington are AFM, state health officials said.

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Shannon Barbare, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News Tuesday there have been 14 confirmed cases of AFM in the state so far this year - though it's unclear if all of those cases were included in the CDC's latest report. She will soon be transferred from a hospital to a rehabilitation center where she will continue physical therapy.

Answering that question is complicated said Mark Schleiss, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

All six cases under investigation were in children under six years old.

While there is no cure, health experts say you should take preventative measures including washing your hands or coughing into your elbow. The cells that are killed during the illness don't regenerate and the damage to the cells is irreversible, Schleiss explained.

How many cases have there been?

The type of viruses found in 12 of the Colorado cases, enterovirus, typically increases in summer and fall and is common, the state department of health said. But unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM.

"We want to be better to better understand the epidemiology of the disease". "Most kids just have a fever for a couple of days and maybe a rash or diarrhea".


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