3 children with Polio-like illness In North Texas

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 13, 2018

Three children are receiving treatment in Pittsburgh for a rare neurological disease that can lead to paralysis, UPMC officials confirmed Tuesday.

The Washington Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm if the children have AFM.

A few states, including Texas, have reported a rare polio-like illness in children and the CDC is paying attention. A medical report detailing the case of a 12-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with AFM noted that caring for patients with AFM often means involving an infectious disease physician, a neurologist, an orthotist, physical therapist and a speech therapist. However, there has been a spike in cases since 2014 and most of those infected have been children. Doctors took nerves from her ribs and diaphragm and diverted them to her arm to make her fingers, wrist, and elbow bend and straighten.

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. The Minnesota cases have been diagnosed since September 20, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, which says officials are working "aggressively" with health care providers to try to gather more information about the cases. It wasn't for two-year-old Maipele Burns, whose AFM attack caused her to lose all function in her right arm.

AFM is not a reportable disease, meaning there may be more cases that were just treated and the child recovered and AFM wasn't diagnosed.

The most common transmission of AFM is through a virus, exposure to environmental toxins and genetic disorders. "Among the people confirmed with AFM, CDC did not consistently detect EV-D68 in every patient". Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.

"The CDC has acknowledged that 362 cases of AFM have been reported since 2014, indicating an increasing infection rate".

The agency is also warning parents to be vigilant about protecting kids from mosquito bites because of the possible connection between West Nile virus and AFM.

Despite these frightening cases of AFM, it's important to remember that the condition continues to be rare. "A person's arms and legs can become weak or paralyzed depending on the area of the spinal cord that is inflamed". Patients may also experience facial drooping as well as difficulty with swallowing and moving the eyes.

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