What is acute flaccid myelitis, the mysterious polio-like disorder affecting kids?

Rare Polio-Like Illness Strikes 6 Minnesota Children

Acute flaccid myelitis affects a person's nervous system and can paralyze a child's arms and legs.

Six children in Minnesota have been diagnosed with a rare "polio-like" disease since September, baffling health officials.

Thirty-eight cases of AFM have been confirmed in the United States so far this year, according to the CDC.

"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. She also requested the agency answer seven questions about its response efforts by October 16 and conduct a member-level briefing for senators seeking more information on the issue.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revealed that it had seen 14 cases of AFM this year in wake of an outbreak of viral infections. "I urge the CDC to provide more information immediately about preventive measures and treatments". That's down from 33 cases for all of 2017.

Majority of those affected are children under the age of 10, and there is no clear cause behind its spread since 2014, the CDC reported. Instead, people who are diagnosed with it are given "aggressive supportive care", Adalja says.

Enteroviruses most commonly cause mild illness.

A study of children diagnosed with AFM in Colorado in 2014 found that a lot of them were better one year later, although most also had residual weakness in their arms and legs.

"It's always important to practice disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands, and protecting yourself from mosquito bites", the CDC said on a page devoted to AFM. Symptoms typically include sudden weakness in one or more arms or legs, along with loss of muscle tone and decreased or absent reflexes. They come from all over the state, including the Twin Cities area and northeastern and central Minnesota.

They have been reported in 16 states. This occurs when the muscles involved with breathing become weak and can require urgent ventilator support through the use of a breathing machine. Some cases have been linked to poliovirus (polio) and West Nile virus, according to the CDC.

The number of cases of the illness, also known as AFM, is the highest in the state since 2014, when there were three reported cases, the health authorities said. 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.

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