Children From Washington Hit With Rare Disease Similar To Polio

Grant Boone
October 14, 2018

A disease that causes partial paralysis in children has impacted nine people in IL, the Department of Health announced. As of now there has been 10 cases of AFM reported in Northern Illinois.

Most of the cases logged by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been children.

CDC officials said that they have not confirmed a cause for the majority of AFM cases and continue to investigate. Experts don't know what causes it. Among them is two-year-old Julia Payne, whose symptoms started off resembling those of a common cold.

As of now no AFM cases have been reported in Southern Illinois.

Health officials say enteroviruses (polio and non-polio), West Nile virus (WNV) and viruses in the same family as WNV may cause AFM.

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"Illinois has monitored this syndrome since 2014 when it was first described by CDC". It has received increased attention in recent weeks after health officials in Minnesota and Colorado saw spikes in reported cases, Illinois Public Health Department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said.

So far this year, the CDC said there have been 38 confirmed cases across 16 states.

A growing number of cases are being reported across the country.

"If their child gets an enteroviral infection, they need to look for symptoms such as sudden onset of arm and leg weakness, difficulty swallowing".

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