Colorado health department reports 14 cases of polio-like illness in children

12 October, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Stuart Potter
  • Six children have been diagnosed with a rare but potentially severe condition that causes weakness or even paralysis in the arms and legs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been tracking cases in the United States, says the condition isn't new but reports that public health officials nationwide saw an uptick in cases starting in 2014. But those aren't the only signs: Other symptoms can include eyelid or facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, according to the state health department. In Minnesota, three cases of the disease were reported in 2014, but since then the number had dropped until the latest outbreak.

The condition is rare, and the state typically sees less than one diagnosis per year.

How many cases have there been? This is because CDC is asking doctors to be alert for patients with symptoms of AFM so that we can learn more about this condition. Less than one in a million people will get AFM annually.

The CDC says it got information on 362 cases of the illness in the USA from August 2014 through August 2018.

Five children under 6 have been hospitalized with a sudden limb paralysis that has local, state and national health officials investigating whether it's a serious but rare condition called AFM.

New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia critical of umpire Angel Hernandez
Holt raked his triple in the next exchange, scoring Xander Bogaerts and Pearce. "Steven (Wright) gets hurt at 4:00 before Game 1". Former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) shined in his first career postseason start, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings.

The CDC does not yet know the long-term effects of AFM Some patients have recovered quickly, while others continue to have paralysis, it says. The CDC also advises washing hands with soap and water and covering your cough or sneeze, standard practices to reduce the spread of germs.

Even with extensive lab testing, AFM is hard to diagnose, because it so similar to other conditions, including poliovirus, West Nile virus and adenoviruses, the CDC reports.

Dr. Rachel Herlihy, an epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News most of 2018's confirmed Colorado cases happened in mid- to late August and September. "For example, neurologists may recommend physical or occupational therapy to help with arm or leg weakness caused by AFM". There are no known treatments, and 38 cases have been confirmed in the USA this year. "It's a very devastating situation" for the children and their families, she said. Some people may be unable to urinate, and, in severe cases, a person can suffer respiratory failure and must be put on a ventilator.

In Chicago, doctors say Julia Payne had an enterovirus that caused the AFM.

However, 11 of the Colorado cases of AFM have tested positive for EV A71, a rare type of enterovirus not usually seen in the USA but instead in Asia and other parts of the world, according to Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the Colorado state epidemiologist. There is no particular treatment for AFM.

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