Friday, 24 May, 2019

Polio-Like Condition in Kids on Rise Again in US

Quinton Hill and his parents Quinton Hill and his parents
Gustavo Carr | 11 October, 2018, 02:04

All the recent Minnesota cases have been in children younger than 10, and all were hospitalized.

There have been dozens of cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in the US this year, including three at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.

The Minnesota Department of Health put out an alert last week, stating that six cases have been reported in children across that state over the past several weeks. Its origins are a mystery, but officials say a virus can cause some cases. "It's very polio-like in presentation", infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Numbness or tingling is rare in people with AFM, although some people have pain in their arms or legs. The cause of any individual case of AFM can be hard to determine, and often, no cause is found. CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM. It attacks the nervous system and can lead to arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle reflexes.

There is no treatment for this disease.

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A 2-year-old girl from Batavia is facing a long, hard recovery after contracting a rare polio-like disease that has been reported in children across the United States. "It nearly has to run its course and then you see where it settles out", he adds.

AFM cases first spiked in the United States in August 2014. These symptoms are remarkably similar to polio or the West Nile Virus.

Doctors are encouraging people to practice what are called "general prevention strategies" - including washing your hands with soap and water, getting vaccinated and preventing mosquito bites. "This is a very rare condition", he stresses.