Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Polio-like disease that's paralyzing kids now in Chicago, Pittsburgh

There's been a spike in a rare polio-like disease that mostly affects children. State health officials say 14 cases have been reported in Colorado 6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease
Johnnie Parks | 13 October, 2018, 14:48

This condition is not new, according to the CDC, but the agency began seeing an increase in cases four years ago, nearly all involving young children.

Like many children, Julia Payne, the toddler at Lurie, started to show signs of weakness and problems breathing on her own after a prolonged cold, said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, the medical director for Lurie's pediatric intensive care unit. Three other cases were reported in Pierce, Lewis, and Snohomish counties. Less than one in a million people will get AFM annually.

In a similar case of AFM, Camden Stravers, a three-and-a-half-year-old from Iowa, who was healthy just three months ago, can no longer support his head and suffers from partial paralysis in his arm, 6ABC reported. It wasn't for two-year-old Maipele Burns, whose AFM attack caused her to lose all function in her right arm.

At least one person has been confirmed to have an illness called AFM in Travis County, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Symptoms include drooping face and eyelids, difficulty moving eyes and swallowing, and slurred speech.

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AFM is a virus that affects the nervous system. Four of the five children had a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, the department said.

Even with extensive lab testing, AFM is hard to diagnose, because it so similar to other conditions, including poliovirus, West Nile virus and adenoviruses, the CDC reports.

We do not know the long-term outcomes (prognosis) of people with AFM. "That enterovirus is transmittable from person to person, but you can't actually catch AFM from somebody else". In some cases, it can lead to paralysis or death but Dr. Robinette says this is a very rare complication of a common infection. The CDC3 does not advocate the use of steroids, IVig, or plasma exchange in AFM, but individuals with AFM or caregivers of children with AFM should discuss treatment recommendations with their physician.

There have been 38 confirmed cases in 16 states so far. However, it recommends practicing disease prevention measures, including staying up-to-date on vaccines and protecting yourself from mosquito bites. One case was reported earlier this year.

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