Rare 'polio-like' disease reported in Minnesota and Colorado

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, affects less than 1 million people a year the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

CBS 11 News reached out to Cook Children's for more information, but so far the hospital has only confirmed three cases of AFM and that they're looking at a suspected fourth case. She was later diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis and has been undergoing treatment for the last month at Lurie Children's Hospital. "Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place and we're working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions". Its origins are a mystery, but officials say a virus can cause some cases.

Health officials are warning parents to be on the lookout for symptoms. "A person's arms and legs can become weak or paralyzed depending on the area of the spinal cord that is inflamed". AFM causes patients' muscles to weaken and symptoms include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs, neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids or a facial droop, difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

The disease typically affects children.

AFM has a variety of causes, the CDC said, including genetic disorders, viruses and environmental toxins.

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There is no treatment for this disease.

A 2-year-old girl from Batavia is facing a long, hard recovery after contracting a rare polio-like disease that has been reported in children across the United States. "It nearly has to run its course and then you see where it settles out", he adds.

"The CDC has acknowledged that 362 cases of AFM have been reported since 2014, indicating an increasing infection rate", Klobuchar wrote in the letter.

The agency recommends staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing hands and protecting against mosquito bites as ways to prevent the disease. "This is a very rare condition", he stresses.

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