The number of cases of AFM in children are on the rise throughout several states. The illness is fatal in some cases and a range of symptoms is being reported.
Acute flaccid myelitis is an illness that affects the central nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Specifically, it targets the grey matter within a child’s spinal cord. This can cause weak or paralyzed muscles, specifically muscles that are used for breathing.
Some children are reporting having difficulty lifting their arms while others have more severe symptoms such as muscle degradation and trouble breathing.
“In very rare cases, it is possible that the process in the body that triggers AFM may also trigger other serious neurologic complications that could lead to death,” the CDC said.
In 2018 there have been 38 cases of AFM reported in 16 different states including Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington and Pennsylvania.
Obviously, parents are concerned about the disease and have questions as to what is causing it.
According to the CDC, there are a number of enteroviruses that are contributing to AFM.
These viruses include EV-D68 and EV-A71 — two viruses that are strains of the polio virus that have been detected to be in the same family as the disease, NBC News reported.
The number of people that have contracted this illness is alarming, to say the least.
As many as a dozen cases have been reported in Minnesota alone. Minnesota typically only sees one to two cases of AFM a year, according to Scary Mommy.
The CDC is encouraging parents and children to wash their hands regularly.
It is also recommending that parents keep their children home when they are sick and stay up-to-date on polio vaccinations as well as other vaccinations.
For more information about the illness, please speak to your doctor. If your child is showing any symptoms of AFM it is important to get them medical attention immediately.
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