Suspected Acute flaccid myelitis case at Oishei Children's Hospital

Suspected Acute flaccid myelitis case at Oishei Children's Hospital

The reported IL cases are preliminary diagnoses and only the U.S. Centers for Disease Control can confirm the diagnosis, according to Arnold.

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

The CDC says symptoms of AFM include facial drooping or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids or difficulty swallowing or slurred speech. But shortly thereafter, unusual and frightening symptoms, such as limb weakness, face drooping and difficulty talking or swallowing, set in. On its website, the CDC explains that non-polio enteroviruses, which normally don't make people sick and if they do, it's often the common cold, can cause AFM.

It is believed that AFM can arise from a viral infection, although environmental and genetic factors could also cause the illness to develop. AFM is a serious nervous system condition that causes patients' muscles to weaken and other polio-like symptoms.

There was a cluster of nine cases of AFM in Washington state back in 2016 and three cases a year ago. Now that doctors are looking for it, expect more cases to be diagnosed.

Health officials report 14 cases in Colorado so far in 2018.

This year alone - from January through September - there have been 38 confirmed cases in 16 different states, according to the agency. While rare officials over the USA are dealing with a spike in cases.

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Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports nine clinically diagnosed cases in the state, while Minnesota's Department of Health is investigating six cases. All of those patients were under the age of 10 and were hospitalized around the middle of September, according to an October 5 news release.

- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling on the federal government to look into recent cases of a rare illness after six cases were reported in Minnesota.

The CDC says that both the cause and long-term effects of the disease remain unknown. Enterovirus A71 caused similar outbreaks to this year's in 2003 and 2005, the CDPHE said. "There have been no deaths".

"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", said Dr. Scott Lindquist, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health.

"Not because it's happening more it's just that we're recognizing it more", Dr. Esper says.

While there is no cure for the virus, neurologists can recommend treatments.

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