Children In Minnesota Are Being Diagnosed With A Rare ‘Polio-Like’ Disease

Ed Reeve/View Pictures/UIG via Getty Images

Pediatricians in Minnesota are currently fighting back against a rare “polio-like” disease that has been recently diagnosed in six children. All of the children who were diagnosed with the condition are under the age of 10 and two children were infected badly enough to be placed on a respirator.

AFM as the condition is commonly referred to is extremely rare. The disease attacks the nervous system and has been known to cause paralysis in some patients. Sadly, there is no vaccine for AFM and doctor’s are forced to focus on alleviating the patient’s symptoms instead of fighting the disease.

In an average year, the Minnesota State Department of Health says only one case of AFM is reported. There have been six cases reported since September 2018.

This isn’t the first time a spike in AFM cases has been reported. In 2014, 120 patients were diagnosed with AFM in 34 states. Since that time, it appeared the viral-based infection had gone dormant.

If you think your child may have contracted AFM you should look for “limb weakness, facial drooping, and trouble swallowing,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Further, the CDC encourages parents to practice proper disease prevention with their children, including the avoidance of mosquito bites and regular hand washing.