- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling on the federal government to look into recent cases of a rare illness after six cases were reported in Minnesota.
It resembles polio, but unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM.
- A mysterious neurological condition called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) has made headlines in recent weeks, with officials looking into several suspected cases in Minnesota, Colorado and here in Chicago. Fourteen cases have been reported in Colorado and six in Minnesota, majority children.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revealed that it had seen 14 cases of AFM this year in wake of an outbreak of viral infections. State health officials are working with the care providers to obtain the samples and information to send to the US Centers for Disease and Prevention for testing and confirmation of the diagnoses. Just 362 cases were reported across the country between August 2014 and August 2018.
Other AFM symptoms may include: facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. "CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM".
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The Center for Disease Control started tracking AFM in 2014 and in one study, it found about a quarter of patients had fully recovered and regained use of their muscles after one year. There is no known cause or cure but it may be related to the virus that causes the common cold.
To try and restore function to Maipele, Dr. Mitchel Seruya at Children's Hospital Los Angeles carried out a pioneering nerve transfer surgery. Until then, doctors are treating the cases as if they are AFM.
"They are not the same virus", Dr. Hallberg said.
Herlihy noted it's "quite rare" to suffer neurological complications like AFM, encephalitis and meningitis from enteroviruses.
The CDC says that there isn't a specific treatment for AFM, but neurological specialists might recommend physical or occupational therapy to help with arm or leg weakness. In 2017 there were three cases, and since the beginning of 2018 there has been one case in the state. After the 120 cases in 2014, there were 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016, and 33 past year, according to the agency.