Children From Washington Hit With Rare Disease Similar To Polio

Children From Washington Hit With Rare Disease Similar To Polio

Children From Washington Hit With Rare Disease Similar To Polio

Officials at Children's Mercy Hospital said two cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, have been confirmed at the hospital.

The Washington Department of Heath says all the children are 6 or younger. Until then, doctors are treating the cases as if they are AFM.

The children live in King, Pierce, Lewis, Snohomish and Skagit counties.

The reported IL cases are preliminary diagnoses and only the U.S. Centers for Disease Control can confirm the diagnosis, according to Arnold.


The CDC began tracking the cases in 2014 after seeing an uptick in the number of cases. Experts don't know what causes it.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, but a neurologist may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis. This year, there have been 38 confirmed cases in 16 states across the U.S. It has received increased attention in recent weeks after health officials in Minnesota and Colorado saw spikes in reported cases, Illinois Public Health Department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said.

Symptoms include a sudden onset of limb weakness, loss of muscle tone and reflexes, facial droop, difficulty moving eyes, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, and slurred speech.

Officials liken the disease to Polio. In some cases, the cause of AFM remains unknown. AFM has been compared to polio because the condition can lead to paralysis.

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