HealthDay News — Nine recent cases of a rare, polio-like disorder in children are being investigated in Illinois, health officials said yesterday.
All the patients with the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), are younger than 18 and from northern Illinois, according to the state’s Department of Public Health, CNN reported.
Since 2015, Illinois has had four confirmed cases of AFM. Symptoms include sudden limb weakness, loss of muscle tone and reflexes, facial and eyelid drooping, facial weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, swallowing difficulty, or slurred speech, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition can be caused by a virus, a genetic disorder, and environmental toxins. There is no treatment other than managing symptoms, CNN reported.
Five possible cases of AFM in children under age 6 in Washington state are being investigated by health officials. There has been one confirmed case of AFM in the state this year, and there were three confirmed cases last year. Earlier this week, Colorado health officials said there have been 14 confirmed cases of AFM in that state this year. All the patients are children who required hospitalization, but health officials said “nearly all have fully recovered,” CNN reported.