Tags: polio-like | acute flaccid myelitis | minnesota

Polio-Like Illness Strikes 6 Children in Minnesota

Polio-Like Illness Strikes 6 Children in Minnesota

A 2-year-old girl stricken with polio in an iron lung in 1959 in a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. (AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 08 October 2018 07:49 AM

A “polio-like” illness for which there is no vaccine – acute flaccid myelitis – has struck in Minnesota, with six children diagnosed with the rare condition that can lead to paralysis and death.

All six cases occurred since mid-September among children under 10, the Minnesota Department of Health announced last week, and all of the children have been hospitalized.

Acute flaccid myelitis affects the nervous system and can lead to the weakening of muscles, health official said. It can arise from a viral infection but environmental and genetic factors could also cause the illness to develop.

“You have a normal healthy child over the course of a few hours to weeks develop weakness and in some cases paralysis and in even more rare instances they need to be on a ventilator,” explained Manisha Patel, a pediatrician and the CDC’s team lead on AFM in 2016, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It’s incredibly heartbreaking to see this.”

The illness may be rare but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 362 cases of acute flaccid myelitis in the U.S. between August 2014 through August 2018.

A 2016 report found there were 120 cases recorded across 34 states from August through December 2014.

This coincided with a national outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), leading experts to believe acute flaccid myelitis is associated with the respiratory illness.

Health department officials urged parents to monitor their children for potential symptoms such as neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids or a facial droop as well as difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

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A “polio-like” illness for which there is no vaccine – acute flaccid myelitis – has struck in Minnesota, with six children diagnosed with the rare condition that can lead to paralysis and death.
polio-like, acute flaccid myelitis, minnesota
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2018-49-08
Monday, 08 October 2018 07:49 AM
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