Local doctors advise caution after spike in children AFM cases nation-wide


Last month we told you about a possible case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis in the state. The polio-like illness is most commonly found in children and is something doctors want parents to be more aware of. 

This mysterious disease can leave kids paralyzed. It’s rare, but should be taken very seriously doctors say.

20 new cases of the illness have been reported, just last week around the U.S. According to the CDC there are now 80 confirmed cases covering 25 states in the U.S. This is up from 60 cases that had been previously reported.

The illness starts off with regular viral symptoms such as a sore throat or runny nose. But, when the illness worsens it can cause paralysis. Parents usually see child’s loss of use in an arm or leg. General Pediatrician at Independent Doctors, Stephen McDonough, says there is still a lot to be learned about the virus.

McDonough says, “We don’t know the virus that causes it yet unfortunately. It seems to occur in summer and fall hopefully it will be slowing down now. There has been one suspected case in North Dakota and a half of dozen cases reported in Minnesota, so it has been in this area.”

In Minnesota, there have been 6 confirmed cases, which is why doctors want to make sure you’re aware.

McDonough says the CDC needs to do a better job of making more people aware because of the increase in reports.

“The just haven’t been doing an adequate job from the perspective of experts who advise them and the families of children that have had this,” says McDonough. “So they need to do better and they are responding to the pressure that’s being placed on them and hopefully they will do better.”

I reached out to the Department of Health about the possible case in North Dakota and they still can not confirm if it was AFM yet.

KX News will be following up on this to see whether or not it was an AFM case and keep you updated.

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