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At least two local children have rare polio-like illness; 8 statewide
12 October 2018, 03:26 | Randall Craig
Quinton Hill and his parents
The Washington Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm if the children have AFM. But not all who fall ill from an enterovirus will go on to develop the condition, experts say.
"It's extremely uncommon this is not something that parents should be concerned about sending their children from school or anything but it's time to get back to the basics of how we prevent viruses from spreading", Dr.
The Illinois Department of Public Healthannounced Wednesday that health care providers in the state have reported nine clinically-diagnosed cases of a rare condition that afflicts the nervous system, in particular the spinal cord. Three other cases were reported in Pierce, Lewis, and Snohomish counties.
Five western Washington children under the age of 6 have been hospitalized for a "sudden onset of paralysis of one of more limbs".
"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health. Other symptoms include facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, the CDC says.
Since August 2014, when the CDC began tracking the illness more closely, the agency has reported 362 cases. "We'll continue to investigate and share information when we have it".
The cause of AFM, and the reason for the rise in cases starting in 2014, is not known.
Doctors now don't know a lot about how AFM spreads.
Shannon Barbare, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News Tuesday there have been 14 confirmed cases of AFM in the state so far this year - though it's unclear if all of those cases were included in the CDC's latest report. 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. Fewer than 1 in 1 million people will contract AFM, even when these new numbers are taken into account.
In 2017, 33 cases were reported in 16 states.
The CDC also recommends people follow normal disease prevention steps to avoid AFM, including staying current on vaccines, washing hands and avoiding mosquito bites.
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Health Ministry helps raise mental health awareness
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