IL investigating 9 ‘sporadic’ cases of polio-like illness in children

University Hospitals 2 patients suspected of having potentially fatal infectious disease

University Hospitals 2 patients suspected of having potentially fatal infectious disease

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

There is no specific treatment for AFM, but a neurologist may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis.

Since the CDC began studying AFM in 2014, there have been 362 documented cases, with 38 of them occurring this year. A 2-year-old from Batavia spent several weeks at the hospital and is now in a rehab facility.

A growing number of cases are being reported across the country.

The disease is not new but the cause remains unknown. "Since 2015, four cases reviewed by CDC experts have been counted in IL", the IDHP stated.

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An Illinois Department of Public Health statement said they are working with doctors to collect information on the nine cases reported.

Other causes have been linked to environmental toxins, genetic disorders and viruses similar to the West Nile virus, according to state health officials.

"If their child gets an enteroviral infection, they need to look for symptoms such as sudden onset of arm and leg weakness, difficulty swallowing". AFM has been compared to polio because the condition can lead to paralysis.

According to UH, AFM is a rare condition that attacks the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, and can cause paralysis.

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