Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

3 children with Polio-like illness In North Texas

3 children with Polio-like illness In North Texas

All the children showed systems of a respiratory illness the week before developing symptoms of AFM.

Dr. Fernando Acosta Jr., a neurologist at Cook Children's, said there is no cure or treatment at this time.

Earlier this month, six Minnesota children were diagnosed with the disease.

There are several ways people can contract AFM, including exposure to toxins in the air, genetic factors or through viruses such as poliovirus, non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus and Saint Louis encephalitis virus, according to the agency.

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that two Chicago-area children are being treated at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago for the illness - including 2-year-old Julia Payne, who has been fighting the illness for almost a month.

Other states have also reported cases.

AFM is a weakening of the nerves that causes partial paralysis in children.

Most of the eight cases of the illness reported in Texas are in the northern part of the state.

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"If their child gets an enteroviral infection, they need to look for symptoms such as sudden onset of arm and leg weakness, difficulty swallowing". Most cases are in children.

Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth has diagnosed three patients with AFM in 2018. It is actively investigating AFM cases, and trying to unearth more information about the mysterious condition.

Although we are still learning about AFM and its causes, being up to date on all recommended vaccinations is one way to protect yourself and your family from diseases that can cause AFM. A 2-year-old girl was recently diagnosed in the Chicago area, and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh confirmed that three children are now being treated for AFM at their facility.

At this point, doctors aren't required to report cases to the state, so it's possible there are others.

Much is still unknown about AFM and often, a cause for AFM can not be identified. On its website, the CDC explains that non-polio enteroviruses, which normally don't make people sick and if they do, it's often the common cold, can cause AFM.

In 2017, 33 cases were reported in 16 states.

Experts say good hygiene and making sure little ones are washing their hands are one way to prevent spreading viruses and germs.

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