Rare illness affecting kids discovered in King, Pierce, Lewis and Snohomish counties

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

It's an afternoon at the park for mom Susie Wells and her little ones, she says her kid's health is her most important priority, so hearing about five children in western Washington with AFM caught her attention.

In a letter to the CDC, Klobuchar asked the director to share the organization's plan to address the infections. These symptoms are remarkably similar to polio or the West Nile Virus.

AFM affects less than one in a million children.

Symptoms include: weakness of the limbs, facial drooping and trouble swallowing or speaking. Cases have been reported in the metro, central and northeastern Minnesota.

Specialists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will confirm the diagnoses.

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Health officials are "investigating six cases of suspected AFM" in the state as of Tuesday, Minnesota Department of Health spokesman Doug Schultz told Fox News.

"In very rare cases, it is possible that the process in the body that triggers AFM may also trigger other serious neurologic complications that could lead to death", according to the CDC. All of those patients were under the age of 10 and were hospitalized around the middle of September, according to an October 5 news release.

"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health, said. Back in 2016, Washington state had 10 cases of AFM.

The doctor says there is no need to panic and there's no vaccine for the disease. Disease investigators think this was linked to an outbreak of a respiratory illness in children that was caused by a virus known as enterovirus D 68.

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