UPMC confirms 3 suspected cases of rare disease that paralyzes children

UPMC confirms 3 suspected cases of rare disease that paralyzes children

UPMC confirms 3 suspected cases of rare disease that paralyzes children

The case reports are from individuals younger than 18 years of age and from northern IL.

- Add the Keystone State to the list of places now dealing with a mysterious polio-like illness that can partially paralyze children.

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.

At Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, physicians are treating some of the six Minnesota cases.

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

The CDC estimates that less than a million people will get AFM every year in the United States. The virus causes the muscles and reflexes in the body become weak. However, 11 of the Colorado cases of AFM have tested positive for EV A71, a rare type of enterovirus not usually seen in the U.S., rather in Asia and other parts of the world, according to Herlihy.

"As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections", Ms. Klobuchar wrote in the letter.

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AFM has a variety of causes, the CDC said, including genetic disorders, viruses and environmental toxins.

Five western Washington children under the age of 6 have been hospitalized for a "sudden onset of paralysis of one of more limbs".

"While all the patients were hospitalized, almost all have fully recovered", the department stressed. In some cases, it can lead to paralysis or death but Dr. Robinette says this is a very rare complication of a common infection. It says that most patients afflicted by the disease are children and that scientists have not yet determined a single pathogen detected in patients' spinal fluid that causes AFM.

There have been 38 confirmed cases in 16 states so far. One hundred forty-nine cases were reported in 39 states in 2016 and 22 cases in 17 states in 2015. Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018.

The CDC recommends people follow normal disease prevention steps to avoid AFM, including staying current on vaccines, washing hands and avoiding mosquito bites.

According to our Dallas sister station WFAA, three children in North Texas have also been confirmed to have AFM.

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