Polio-Like Condition in Kids on Rise Again in US

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

AFM could be triggered by a variety of causes, including common cold viruses, poliovirus (for which children should be vaccinated), and West Nile virus (which is carried by mosquitoes and can be prevented by using insect repellant).

In a letter to the CDC, Klobuchar asked the director to share the organization's plan to address the infections.

The condition, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), was first identified in 2014, when there were 120 cases, NBC News reported.

The children, who are all under the age of 6, all reportedly had symptoms of a respiratory illness in the week prior to developing symptoms of AFM. Usually, the state sees zero to one AFM cases a year. "They may have facial weakness, facial drooping, unable to speak, trouble swallowing", said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti.

A rare, polio-like condition in children is on the rise again in the United States, with 38 confirmed cases in 16 states so far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

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Local public health officials have been notified and are working with the hospital, state Department of Health and the CDC, county Health Department spokesman Ryan Scarpino said. It's also known as 'AFM'. Cases have been reported in the metro, central and northeastern Minnesota. Back in 2016, Washington state had 10 cases of AFM.

"We've been vigilant", Sanford Health Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Clifford Mauriello said.

Herlihy called both enterovirus A71 and enterovirus D68 "rarer strains" of enterovirus.

"I just felt so sad for him, that this thing we didn't know about and couldn't protect him from had happened and had taken a lot away from him", Michael Young said.

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