North Texas Children Among Those With Rare Polio-Like Illness

The patients are now undergoing diagnostic procedures and treatments.

The Star Tribune reports the polio-like disease came to the attention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014 after clusters were discovered in Colorado and California. There is no cure and the exact cause is uncertain.

There have been dozens of cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in the USA this year, including three at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. All the recent Minnesota cases have been in children younger than 10, and all were hospitalized.

According to the Washington Department of Health, the children are being evaluated for acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare condition that affects a person's nervous system and can cause paralysis.

Like others fighting AFM, Julia needs a respirator to keep her lungs pumping and she can't swallow.

The doctor says there is no need to panic and there's no vaccine for the disease.

Katie Payne said she and her husband are sharing their story "to spread awareness of this insane, rare, scary disease". "We want to be better to better understand the epidemiology of the disease".

Some viruses and germs have been linked to AFM, including common germs that can cause colds and sore throats, and respiratory infections.

The CDC states that AFM targets the spinal cord, which can lead to weakness in the muscles.

"There's a sudden onset of weakness in the arm, leg, face, or the muscles that help us swallow and that we use to speak", says Dr. Amaran Moodley from the Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.

In the past, Minnesota may only see one case in a year.

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