For parents, it is probably the worst possible scenario: a rare Polio-like condition, which is sometimes deadly or debilitating, has been on the rise in 2018, especially among children under 4, and no one knows why.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) is a condition that affects the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. Most patients report a sudden weakness in their arms or legs, though other symptoms like drooping facial muscles and eyelids, or difficulty speaking or swallowing, have also been reported. More than 90% of those affected had a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before they developed AFM.
While AFM is not a new condition, the large number of cases reported to the CDC since 2014, mostly in young children, is a new development. But they are also quick to point out that despite growing numbers, it is still a rare condition. They estimate that less than one to two in a million children in the United States will get AFM every year.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northern Neck News 12/12/18