States and CDC probe reports of rare poliolike symptoms in kids

States and CDC probe reports of rare poliolike symptoms in kids

The Washington State Department of Health is investigating reports of six children who have been hospitalized after a sudden onset of paralysis of one or more limbs.

The condition - which attacks the nervous system - causes symptoms including neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids or a facial droop and difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the condition is not new but a recent influx of cases in 2014 (mostly in California and Colorado) had been linked to the spread of an enterovirus known as EVD68.

There are several ways people can contract AFM, including exposure to toxins in the air, genetic factors or through viruses such as poliovirus, non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus and Saint Louis encephalitis virus, according to the agency.

There was a national uptick in AFM cases in 2014.

In her letter, Ms. Klobuchar asked Dr. Redfield to accelerate the CDC's response and investigation of the spike in AFM cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has seen an increasing number of people across the USA with the serious condition in the past four years.

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

More news: Maharashtra commission for women slaps notice on Nana Patekar, summons Tanushree Dutta

Six children in Minnesota have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis since September 20.

Finally, although it's unknown whether it's effective in preventing AFM, the CDC notes washing your hands often with soap and water is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

The regular cases in Minnesota are of children under age 10.

AFM is believed to be caused by viruses, notably the enterovirus D68. "A person's arms and legs can become weak or paralyzed depending on the area of the spinal cord that is inflamed".

Its symptoms are likened to those caused by polio, which was eradicated in the USA thanks to the polio vaccine. Doctors stress that the early signs of AFM should be recognized and treatment should be started as soon as possible to prevent from severity of disease.

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.

Health officials say they do not yet know the long-term effects of AFM. A 2-year-old girl underwent occupational therapy and a nerve transfer operation after she lost the use of her right arm, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia said last month.

There is no known cure for AFM but doctors can provide supportive care to patients.

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