8 cases of rare 'polio-like' condition reported in Texas

Quinton Hill and his parents

Quinton Hill and his parents

Her parents told the Chicago Tribune that symptoms at first were on par with those of a common cold. Drooping of the face or eyelids and trouble speaking or swallowing. As limbs become weak, a patient might lose the ability to use their arms or legs.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment also reported an additional 14 cases of children with the disease, which affects the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. Treatment mainly boils down to alleviating those symptoms.

However, it can be hard to detect how patients actually get AFM. However, there has been a spike in cases since 2014 and most of those infected have been children.

Akron Children's is waiting on lab results of two cases that seem to fit the "clinical picture" of AFM.

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Health announced that six children under 10 had been diagnosed AFM since mid-September.

"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.

There was a cluster of nine cases of AFM in Washington state back in 2016 and three cases a year ago. These states include California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. However, the 2014 cases coincided with a national outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a virus called enterovirus D68.

It is believed that AFM can arise from a viral infection, although environmental and genetic factors could also cause the illness to develop.

"Of the AFM cases, 11 tested positive for enterovirus A71, one tested positive for enterovirus D68, and two tested negative for enteroviruses", the department said in an online statement Tuesday. "Among the people confirmed with AFM, CDC did not consistently detect EV-D68 in every patient".

Because of AFM's possible roots in polio, doctors and medical health professionals are urging parents to stay up-to-date on their children's vaccinations.

"You can protect yourself and your children from poliovirus by getting vaccinated", the CDC advises. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended. However, 11 of the Colorado cases of AFM have tested positive for EV A71, a rare type of enterovirus not usually seen in the United States, rather in Asia and other parts of the world, according to Herlihy. Numbness or tingling is rare in people with AFM, although some people have pain in their arms or legs.

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