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6 cases of rare polio-like illness confirmed in Mi

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    Posted: October 06 2018 at 1:28am
6 cases of rare polio-like illness confirmed in Minnesota

LAKEVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) - Six cases of a rare illness with polio-like symptoms have been confirmed in Minnesota, according to the Department of Health. It's the most cases of acute flaccid myelitis the state has ever seen.

Since September 20, six children under the age of 10 have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The cases are not coming from one specific area, with cases reported in the metro, central and north eastern Minnesota. Officials say they are unsure if the six cases are related.

Usually, the state sees zero to one AFM cases a year. There were three cases reported in 2014, a year AFM was on the rise nationwide.

Seven-year-old Quinton Hill of Lakeville started showing signs of cold-like symptoms on Sept. 9, but five days later his parents realized he had more than just the common cold.
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“We didn’t think anything was wrong until all of a sudden his neck froze up and he couldn’t move his left arm," said James Hill, Quinton's father.

It took days and many tests later to finally get the diagnosis of AFM. Quinton was in the hospital for two weeks. James says he turned to social media to connect with other families impacted by the rare illness.

“There are kids in the hospital now that have lost multiple limbs or can’t move from the neck down," said James.

Kris Ehresmann, the director of infectious disease with the Minnesota Department of Health, says they believe AFM affects the spinal cord and grey matter, causing muscle weakness, which can lead to paralysis. The cause for the rare condition, however, remains unclear.

“For some diseases, like measles, we know that the cause is the measles virus," said Kris Ehresmann, the director of infectious disease with the Minnesota Department of Health. "In this case, there have been several different families of viruses that have been associated with this illness, as well as some situations where you can’t tie it to a virus ... So there’s a lot of unknown here.”

Ehresmann says there is less than one in a million chance of getting AFM, but she says parents should make sure their children's vaccinations are up to date and take precautions such as washing hands and covering your cough.

“We don’t have simple answers for this," said Ehresmann. "It’s a hard situation and we feel for this parents and so we’re trying to do the best we can.”

As for Quinton, he's now out of the hospital. His left arm is paralyzed, but he still has movement in his fingers.

“A small percentage of kids report that they’re able to get function back," said James. "So we’re just hoping for the best and Quentin is super resilient and so if anybody is going to get it back it’s going to be him.”

Source and video:   http://www.fox9.com/news/6-cases-of-rare-polio-like-illness-confirmed-in-minnesota
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Um..... I have been reporting this in a few states, but I seem to have missed the big picture. It has actually been found in 22 states - so far


Mysterious paralyzing illness found among kids in 22 states

By MIKE STOBBE2 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials on Tuesday reported a jump in cases of a rare paralyzing illness in children, and said it seems to be following an every-other-year pattern.

At least 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states this year, and at least 65 additional illnesses in those states are being investigated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similar waves of the same illness occurred in 2014 and 2016.

CDC officials say they haven’t found the cause. Some possible suspects, such as polio and West Nile virus, have been ruled out. Another kind of virus is suspected, but it’s been found in only some of the cases.

This is a mystery so far,” the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier said in a call Tuesday with reporters.

About 90 percent of the cases are children who have suffered muscle weakness or paralysis, including in the face, neck, back or limbs. The symptoms tend to occur about a week after they had a fever and respiratory illness.

It is “a pretty dramatic disease,” but fortunately most kids recover, Messonnier said.

Health officials call the condition acute flaccid myelitis. The CDC would not release a list of the states reporting probable or confirmed cases. But some states have previously announced clusters, including Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, New York and Washington.

The cases in 2014 and 2016 were partly attributed to particular strains of respiratory germs called enteroviruses, which spread the most in the summer and fall.

Most people infected with enteroviruses suffer only minor symptoms like cough and runny nose. And though enteroviruses have been detected in some paralysis cases, it hasn’t been found in others, CDC officials say.

Lacking an established cause, health officials confirm cases through a review of brain scans and symptoms.

About 120 confirmed cases were reported in 2014. Another 149 were reported in 2016. In 2015 and 2017, the counts of reported illnesses were far lower.

The cases this year seem to be spread across much of the country, as were the earlier two waves. But mysteriously no other country has reported the emerging every-two-years pattern seen in the U.S., Messonnier said.

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source:   https://www.apnews.com/0d2815841b224e7faecd839689e11752
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CDC says cases of polio-like illness on the rise

By Nathaniel Weixel - 11/05/18 05:00 PM EST

Cases of a paralyzing illness affecting mostly children are still on the rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

The CDC has identified 80 confirmed cases of Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) among 219 reports in 2018, officials said. The cases were spread across 25 states.

Despite an increase in cases since 2014, AFM remains a very rare condition, the CDC said. Less than one in a million people in the United States get AFM each year.

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AFM is a serious condition that can cause paralysis and draws comparisons to polio. But the CDC stressed that no patients have tested positive for polio, which has not existed in the U.S. for more than 30 years.

AFM primarily impacts the central nervous system and weakens muscles.

There isn't a cure for AFM, and the agency doesnt know what causes the illness. The CDC said there is no specific treatment for AFM; theres no known medical treatment that can reverse the effects once the central nervous system is attacked. Rehabilitation can help some patients regain function, but there are many unknown factors.

We do not yet know the long-term effects of AFM, the CDC said. We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly, and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care.

The agency is urging health care providers to be vigilant for AFM among their patients.

Source:   https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/415040-cdc-says-cases-of-polio-like-illness-are-on-the-rise
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