Publicado: Jue, Octubre 11, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Concerns growing over rare polio-like condition in children

Concerns growing over rare polio-like condition in children

The recent cases in Minnesota-which were reported from the Twin cities, central Minnesota and northeastern Minnesota-involved children under 10 years of age, all of whom were hospitalized.

The disease usually presents itself at the end of a cold and then causes muscle weakness.

According to the CDC, there have been 362 confirmed cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis since 2014. The viruses that are accounted to cause AFM may be contagious from one person to another or may be spread by a mosquito or other vector depending on which virus causes the AFM.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said AFM presents like polio or West Nile virus, estimates that fewer than one in a million people in the USA will get AFM each year. To date, no pathogen (germ) has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid; a pathogen detected in the spinal fluid would be good evidence to indicate the cause of AFM since this condition affects the spinal cord.

Indeed, there has been an uptick in cases of AFM across the country. While AFM doesn't have a cure, the symptoms can be treated and in most cases death can be avoided.

Up through September of this year, 38 cases of AFM have been confirmed in 16 states, according to the CDC, and 362 people have contracted AFM since August 2014. These states include California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

"It is important to know that even though this is a rare condition and is being reported as a mystery illness, we really do understand much more about the causes of this disease", he said.

Health officials suggest people should start thinking about getting their flu shots
Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment. Remember, the flu shot can take two to four weeks before it's fully effective, so it's best to be vaccinated sooner than later.

Additionally, the CDC has found a possible link between an increase in a respiratory virus and an increase of AFM.

"EV-D68 has been circulating in what looks like an every-other-year pattern", Messacar told NBC News.

Health officials are warning parents to be on the lookout for symptoms. They can also cause neurologic illness, such as meningitis, encephalitis, and AFM, but these are rare.

Normally when the people get affected with this disease, more than half of them don't recognize these symptoms as polio doesn't have any visible symptoms.

Again, this is a rare condition. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.

"If a parent notices a child with a weak or paralyzed limb, they should go to urgent care or the hospital immediately", said Julie Graham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health.

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