The condition, which affects mainly children, attacks the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken. "We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly, and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care", the CDC said.
The state typically sees just one or fewer cases of AFM a year, making the six cases extremely concerning. The severe form the disease can cause neurologic symptoms, including encephalitis and AFM.
Five children under 6 have been hospitalized with a sudden limb paralysis that has local, state and national health officials investigating whether it's a serious but rare condition called AFM.
"It is important to know that even though this is a rare condition and is being reported as a mystery illness, we really do understand much more about the causes of this disease", he said. It sometimes - but not always - goes along with viral infections including polio, West Nile Virus and respiratory illnesses, but environmental and genetic factors may also play a part, the CDC says. Cook Children's Medical Center has diagnosed three patients with AFM in 2018.
The children have acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, a weakening of the nerves that resembles polio.
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The disease usually presents itself at the end of a cold and then causes muscle weakness. The number of AFM cases seems to spike every other year, with 149 reported in 2016, 22 reported in 2015, and 120 in 2014.
The disease is not new, but there was an uptick in cases starting in 2014, the CDC says.
AFM affects the spinal cord, impairing muscular function and reflexes, according to the CDC.
Quinton has lost a lot of the strength in his left arm, along with some weakness in his legs and neck. "I urge the CDC to provide more information immediately about preventive measures and treatments". There are no specific treatments for AFM, so doctors may decide on certain treatments on a case-by-case basis. The viruses that are accounted to cause AFM may be contagious from one person to another or may be spread by a mosquito or other vector depending on which virus causes the AFM.
The Youngs say doctors ran several tests, but only got closer to a diagnosis after a second MRI. These include washing hands frequently to limit exposure to germs, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and staying home when feeling sick.