Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

IL reports 9 recent acute flaccid myelitis cases

IL reports 9 recent acute flaccid myelitis cases

The reported IL cases are preliminary diagnoses and only the U.S. Centers for Disease Control can confirm the diagnosis, according to Arnold.

If you or your child develops any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care right away.

The CDC recommends getting children vaccinated against the poliovirus, as well as protecting against bites from mosquitos (which carry the West Nile virus).

Earlier this month, six Minnesota children were diagnosed with the disease. It affects a person's nervous system, specifically the spinal cord.

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that two Chicago-area children are being treated at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago for the illness - including 2-year-old Julia Payne, who has been fighting the illness for almost a month. Eight cases have been reported statewide.

The illness causes a weakening of the nerves and resembles polio.

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Dr. Rachel Herlihy, an epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News most of 2018's confirmed Colorado cases happened in mid- to late August and September.

Symptoms of AFM include weakness of the arms or legs, facial droop or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. "We're working closely with medical providers and public health agencies". However, there has been a spike in cases since 2014 and most of those infected have been children. By the end of that year, 120 people had been diagnosed in 34 states.

"The increase in AFM cases in 2014 coincided with a national outbreak of severe respiratory illness among people caused by enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)", the CDC notes on its website.

It resembles polio, but unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM. A few require ventilators to breathe, NBC News reported.

Doctors now don't know a lot about how AFM spreads.

The condition is rare, with only 1 in 1 million people in the United States contracting the disease, according to the CDC. Most said parents can do is encouraging kids to wash their hands, teaching them to cover their mouths with their elbow when they cough or sneeze, and keep them home if they are sick. Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018.

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