IL reports 9 recent acute flaccid myelitis cases

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

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One case was reported earlier this year.

Muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing and facial drooping are all signs of the polio-like illness that's now showing up in hospitals.

In recent weeks, six cases of the illness, known as acute flaccid myelitis(AFM), have been diagnosed in children in Minnesota - a state the typically sees less than one case of AFM per year, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The discoveries in Western Pa. come days after health officials in Minnesota announced at least six confirmed cases of a disease that can lead to paralysis. It also does not include the cases in Minnesota or IL, as they are not confirmed.

"The CDC has indicated there might be some increases in cases, and in mid-September we advised health care providers to be vigilant and report to the health department so that we can pass on the information to the CDC", Arnold said.

AFM cases first spiked in the United States in August 2014.

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Most AFM sufferers notice sudden muscle weakness in their limbs and loss of reflexes. These symptoms are remarkably similar to polio or the West Nile Virus.

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

Although there's now no vaccine or treatment, says Hallberg, there are very few cases of AFM. This is because CDC is asking doctors to be alert for patients with symptoms of AFM so that we can learn more about this condition.

Although we are still learning about AFM and its causes, being up to date on all recommended vaccinations is one way to protect yourself and your family from diseases that can cause AFM. It is a neurological condition that impacts the brain and the spinal cord, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no cure for AFM. The causes of cases are often not confirmed. After the 120 cases in 2014, there were 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016, and 33 past year, according to the agency.

The health department says there are no specific recommendations for avoiding AFM, but washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, and staying up-to-date on immunizations is recommended.

In 2016, there were nine cases of AFM in Washington and three in 2017.

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