10 cases of AFM reported in IL

Faith Castro
October 14, 2018

The Washington Department of Health said Wednesday that the children are 6 or younger.

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.

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 agency said it hasn't confirmed the cause for the majority of the cases, which primarily occur in children.

Over the past year, almost 40 cases of a polio-like sickness have been diagnosed across the country - two of which were reported right next door to Penn at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

In September, the Illinois Department of Public Health sent out an alert to health providers about AFM.

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While officials said the cases occurred in northern IL, more specific locations were not publicly available.

AFM has been reported in 26 states in the US, with a total of 85 cases and climbing.

Earlier this week, six children in Minnesota were diagnosed with this "rare" disease.

Between August 2014 and August 2018, the CDC received information on a total of 362 confirmed cases of AFM nationwide.

Numbness or tingling is rare in patients with AFM, but some patients have pain in their arms or legs.

"We do not yet know the long-term effects of AFM", a CDC report said. However, there are other causes of AFM besides EV-D68 and severe respiratory illness is a greater concern with this virus. Staying update on recommended immunizations is also important to avoiding vaccine preventable illnesses.

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