Six cases of rare ‘polio-like’ illness diagnosed in children in Minnesota
- Acute flaccid myelitis, known as AFM, affects the body’s nervous system
- Minnesota typically sees less than one case per year
Minnesota typically sees less than one case a year, the state Department of Health reported. The disease typically affects children; all the recent cases in Minnesota were in children younger than 10.
AFM can develop from a viral infection, although its exact cause is unknown. Symptoms include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing or talking. Doctors stress the importance of recognizing the early signs of AFM and seeking care as soon as possible.
Treatment focuses only on alleviating symptoms.
AFM cases first spiked in the United States in August 2014. By the end of that year, 120 people had been diagnosed in 34 states.
The CDC says it’s important to practice disease prevention steps: staying up to date on vaccines, washing hands and preventing mosquito bites.