Polio-like disease on the rise in Minnesota

11 Octobre, 2018, 13:03 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

Acute Flacid Myelitis or paralysis (AFM) is a rare disorder that is increasing in prevalence. There is no cure and the exact cause is uncertain.

The CDC says it got information on 362 cases of the illness in the USA from August 2014 through August 2018. The Minnesota Department of Health put out an alert last week, stating that six cases have been reported in children across that state over the past several weeks.

AFM typically affects young children and creates polio-like symptoms.

Of the 38 reported cases so far this year, 14 have been in Colorado, and six are under investigation in Minnesota, NBC News reported. She is being fed intravenously.

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Dr. Elizabeth Meade, chief of pediatrics at Swedish Pediatrics, says AFM is more common in kids and is especially associated with viruses. "She hasn't done that since she was a baby", said mother Katy Payne.

"We want research. We want what happened to Julia not to happen to anyone else", she said. Back in 2016, Washington state had 10 cases of AFM. Disease investigators think this was linked to an outbreak of a respiratory illness in children that was caused by a virus known as enterovirus D 68.

AFM impacts "the area of spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak", the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. "They may have difficulty moving their eyes and some have slurred speech or difficulty swallowing; so very rare symptoms that you wouldn't expect to see in a child, so can be picked up very quickly", said Dr. Kevin Most, Northwestern.

The CDC says the number of cases appears to increase and decrease from one year to the next.

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