10 cases of rare nervous system disorder reported in IL

10 cases of rare nervous system disorder reported in IL

The New Jersey Department of Health reported one case in February and two in August but said they are not linked to the multi-state investigation.

Symptoms, health officials say, can be similar to those associated with poliovirus and West Nile and include facial and eyelid drooping, facial weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, sudden limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the arms or legs.

Health officials will never have a firm count of cases of AFM because not all states require doctors to report them. Medical experts have said AFM itself is not believed to be contagious, but the causes of it could be.

Officials at Children's Mercy Hospital said two cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, have been confirmed at the hospital. The CDC has been actively tracking AFM cases since 2014 when they began to see an increase.

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AMF is not a new condition, but the increase in cases starting in 2014 is not normal, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"All suspected cases are sent to the CDC for review by their neurologists", said Lara Anton of the Texas Department of State Health Services. In addition to the pair of cases at CHOP, three cases are also being treated in Pittsburgh, 6ABC reported.

This year there have been 38 confirmed cases of AFM in 16 states across the nation, said UH.

AFM looks very much like polio. Most of these illnesses have been in children. The cause of any individual case of AFM can be hard to determine, and often, no cause is found. CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries where wild poliovirus has been seen this year, because conflict makes it hard to vaccinate all children. One of them is 5-year-old Elizabeth Storrie, who is now recovering from AFM at Cook Children's Hospital in north Texas. Well continue to investigate and share information when we have it.

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