Health Department: 7th Case Of AFM Diagnosed In Minnesota

The increase in cases of AFM has alarmed public health officials because not all of the children affected fully recover

The MDH says the case is now being reviewed, and did not provide information regarding where in the state this particular case was diagnosed, or whether or not the child is in the hospital. Symptoms are sudden arm or leg weakness, difficulty moving facial muscles, slurred speech and trouble swallowing.

There are now five possible cases of a polio-like illness in Maryland, health officials confirm.

One case of a polio-like disease has been confirmed in MA, the Department of Public Health announced.

And despite the resemblance to polio, officials have ruled out poliovirus as a cause of the illnesses.

Still, officials saw an uptick in cases in 2014 and 2016, with peaks around late summer and fall.

"We have not been able to find a cause for the majority of these AFM cases", she said.

About 90 percent of the cases are children who have suffered muscle weakness or paralysis. Another kind of virus was found in only some of the cases.

The agency says there are several possible causes, including "viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders".

One child has died of the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

More news: Officials say a child is first to die in Florida flu season

Some possible causes being investigated by the CDC include enteroviruses, which affect the digestive system, and rhinoviruses - the infectious agents associated with the common cold.

Between August 2014 and September 2018, 362 cases were confirmed by the CDC.

"As a parent myself I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", Messonnier said. The public health agency also does not fully understand long-term consequences or why some patients recover quickly while others continue to experience weakness.

That's up from 22 people who were said to have it in 2015. But some state health departments, such as Minnesota's, have reported the numbers.

Asked about the discrepancy between the CDC's report of 22 states versus CNN's report of 30 states with cases, Messonnier said, "the 22 states that we're reporting are the states that have confirmed cases".

There was a national uptick in AFM cases in 2014, according to MDH.

Parents can best protect their children from serious diseases by taking prevention steps, like washing their hands, staying up to date on recommended vaccines, and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites, she said.

The CDC is actively investigating the cases and working with healthcare providers as well as state and local health departments to spread the word about AFM.

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