Rare cases of a nervous system disorder being reported

Stock image of a sick child

For example, in Minnesota, cases of AFM were generally stagnant at about one case per year, but now six children have been confirmed to have AFM in 2018 alone. AFM can be developed from a viral infection, although its exact cause is unknown. "It's incredibly heartbreaking to see this".

In 2016, there was a cluster of nine cases of AFM in Washington and there were three in 2017, according to the health department.

She was later diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, and has been undergoing treatment for a month at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital.

Other symptoms include neck weakness, drooping eyelids and slurred speech, according to the state department.

CDC has tested many different specimens from AFM patients for a wide range of pathogens (germs) that can cause AFM.

Investigators are still collecting data on the two unconfirmed cases in Minnesota, which involved children under the age of 10 who displayed symptoms in the summer, Griffith said.

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According to a statement released by the agency, the state normally sees about one case of AFM per year, though there was a nationwide spike in 2014 following an outbreak of an enterovirus called EV-68. Less than one in a million people in the United States get AFM each year.

If the condition worsens, symptoms can lead to paralysis or death. "He's kind of like, one day at a time, whereas we're anxious about the whole rest of his life", Orville's father, Michael, said.

"It starts off with a cold, cough, runny nose, congestion and then before you know it, you have weakness and paralysis of your arms and your legs", Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, a family physician, told ABC News. The disease was most prevalent in 2014 when 120 cases, most in Colorado and California, were reported. But a few still have partial paralysis and depending on which muscles are affected, children may need ventilators to help them breathe and may have to use wheelchairs.

Doctors stress the importance of recognizing symptoms early and seek care as soon as possible.

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.

Polio is highly severe disease with potential deadly infection. The condition can be diagnosed by examining a person's nervous system, taking a magnetic resonance imaging scan and testing the cerebral spinal fluid.

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