Minnesota grapples with outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said AFM presents like polio or West Nile virus, estimates that fewer than one in a million people in the USA will get AFM each year. She was later diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, and has been undergoing treatment for a month at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital. "Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place and we're working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions".

Acute flaccid myelitis is thought to happen after someone contracts a virus, like a poliovirus, West Nile virus, or adenovirus, the CDC says.

For example, a neurologist may recommend physical or occupational therapy to help with arm or leg weakness.

The children have acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, a weakening of the nerves that resembles polio.

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. Instead, doctors just focus on alleviating symptoms as best they can. "The patients are now undergoing diagnostic procedures and treatment", the hospital said in a statement to Pittsburgh's Channel 11. The CDC says little is known about what causes the disease.

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Up through September of this year, 38 cases of AFM have been confirmed in 16 states, according to the CDC, and 362 people have contracted AFM since August 2014.

AFM cases first spiked in the United States in August 2014. However since then, officials say they typically see less than one case a year. You can reduce the chance of mosquito bites by using insect repellent and keeping kids indoors during times when mosquitos are prevalent.

"EV-D68 has been circulating in what looks like an every-other-year pattern", Messacar told NBC News.

Normally when the people get affected with this disease, more than half of them don't recognize these symptoms as polio doesn't have any visible symptoms. Fewer than 1 in 1 million people will contract AFM, even when these new numbers are taken into account.

The hallmark of AFM is a sudden onset of limb weakness associated with spinal cord inflammation. Staying up to date on recommended immunizations is also important to avoiding vaccine-preventable illnesses, the health department said.

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