Health Officials: 6 Kids Diagnosed With Rare Disorder That Affects Spinal Cord

Health Officials: 6 Kids Diagnosed With Rare Disorder That Affects Spinal Cord

It has been compared to polio because the condition can also lead to paralysis.

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is an exceptional but deliberate neurologic disease of immediate outbreak, usually in children.

AFM is not new, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported seeing an uptick in cases starting in 2014.

AFM affects the nervous system, specifically, the central region of the spinal cord which is filled with grey matter-a type of nerve cell. The CDC says little is known about what causes the disease.

A spokesperson for Oishei confirms the patient is "currently undergoing diagnostic procedures for suspected, but not confirmed acute flaccid myelitis", adding that doctors are "working closely with the NYS Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to evaluate the patient's condition and confirm their diagnosis".

Most AFM sufferers notice sudden muscle weakness in their limbs and loss of reflexes. Drooping of the face or eyelids and trouble speaking or swallowing.

AFM is a serious, but uncommon condition.

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"While all the patients were hospitalized, almost all have fully recovered", the department stressed.

"A lot of these people do require prolonged amounts of physical therapy to get their strength back up", says Cleveland Clinic pediatric infectious disease expert Dr. However since then, officials say they typically see less than one case a year.

"In recent weeks seven children have been diagnosed with AFM in Minnesota and Iowa, including two children who required treatment in the intensive care unit for respiratory support", the senators write. Both were able to be discharged.

On Wednesday, theIllinois Department of Public Health announced it was investigating nine recent cases of AFM in patients under the age of 18, all of which are reportedly limited to "northern Illinois".

Health investigators are trying to figure out how some Minnesota children contracted a rare illness with polio-like symptoms. They include hand-washing, mosquito repellent to try to protect against West Nile virus, and vaccinations for polio, even though there is no known link to AFM. The Minnesota Department of Health sees, on average, about one case per year. It is actively investigating AFM cases, and trying to unearth more information about the rare condition.

"What we don't know is why these common cold symptoms, why in some individuals does it turn into AFM that's where the mystery lies", said Dr. Sinner. "She went in for an X-ray and she couldn't hold her head up by herself anymore, which was very odd".

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