Jacksonville toddler hospitalized with polio-like illness

Ebony Scott
October 18, 2018

According to a Tuesday press briefing, there have been 62 confirmed cases across 22 states in the U.S.A in 2018. Ninety percent of those affected are children.

The CDC says this is still a rare condition that affects less than one in 1 million people per year.

The disease is marked by a sudden onset of weakness and loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs caused by an attack on the nervous system and spinal cord.

On a Facebook page dedicated to the disease, one parent posted that her daughter was diagnosed with AFM four years ago after catching enterovirus. "Many people will get the infection and very few will get the neurologic disease" that leads to paralysis, Messacar says.

"What parents have to know is if your child suddenly has a weak arm or leg, is not speaking properly, has a stiff neck or a wobbly neck - call the doctor immediately", pediatrician Dr. Laura Popper said. IL health officials said they're working with the CDC to better classify the cases. Her daughter, now five, has regained the use of all her limbs except her right leg, though she still has weakness on her right side and uses a wheelchair or walker to get around. Other symptoms include facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech.

Many other aspects of the illness remain unknown, including what factors puts a person at risk of becoming ill and the long-term consequences. Nor can they explain why only a handful of infected children developed AFM.

CDC Since August 2014, the CDC has seen 386 confirmed cases of AFM in the U.S. "It causes fever illnesses in the summer and fall, often associated with rashes".

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"That's pretty terrifying. It is terrifying if you are a parent", Kerkering said. The CDC actually doesn't know what causes the disease or much about it at all. "For some of the previous cases we've identified one pathogen or another, but we have no unifying diagnosis".

Although symptoms may appear similar to polio, AFM is not polio and it is not contagious.

In total, CNN found 47 confirmed cases and 49 more that were suspected or being investigated, for a total of 96. Several cases have been linked to enteroviruses or other germs, but officials have not been able to find a cause for the majority of the cases. This year's AFM outbreak is gaining attention because there are 127 suspected cases so far.

The disorder has been diagnosed in unvaccinated children and also in children who have received some of their recommended vaccinations, she said. He suffered paralysis and had to be put on a ventilator.

"If you have this kind of illness that goes beyond the typical flu and you have this acute weakness, definitely we recommend that early on to present to the emergency department to be assessed for this possibility", says Dr. Ania.

Hunter was hospitalized with AFM when he was 15 months old.

"There's better recovery this year in the kids we're seeing here with EV A71", Dominguez said, as opposed to EV D68.

Other reports by GizPress

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