Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Six Minnesota children diagnosed with rare polio-like disease

Six Minnesota children diagnosed with rare polio-like disease Six kids in Minnesota have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis
Marty Perkins | 12 October, 2018, 01:08

A rare but potentially severe condition that causes weakness or even paralysis in the arms and legs of children is on the rise, the Centers for Disease and Control of U.S. says.

The Minnesota Department of Health has issued an advisory to doctors after six children were diagnosed with a rare disorder that affects the spinal cord.

A child is being examined at Oishei Children's Hospital for what their parent suspects is a case of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a condition affecting the nervous system that causes the body's muscles and reflexes to become weak. "CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM". It is actively investigating AFM cases, and trying to unearth more information about the rare condition.

The disease is not new, but there was an uptick in cases starting in 2014, the CDC says.

"Particularly after you go to the bathroom and before you are eating or touching your face", Dr. Robinette says. Other symptoms are neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

"We don't yet have any effective treatment for the virus or for the condition", Messacar said.

"What we do know is that AFM can be caused by lots of different things, and one of those things is a viral infection", Dr. Meade said. By the end of that year, 120 people had been diagnosed in 34 states.

For Julia, doctors did a type of dialysis to clear out her blood, and she has a ventilator to help her breathe.




"While all the patients were hospitalized, almost all have fully recovered", the department stressed.

Answering that question is complicated said Mark Schleiss, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Orville spent six days in the hospital being treated with steroids and undergoing physical therapy, she said. Four of the five had a fever of 100.4 or higher. The median age of people with the condition is about seven years. The cells that are killed during the illness don't regenerate and the damage to the cells is irreversible, Schleiss explained.

Some affected by AFM may also be unable to pass urine, and have difficulty breathing, requiring urgent ventricular support.

He emphasized that early work-up is helpful for finding the underlying cause of the AFM cases and added that most children eventually recover from the damage from the spinal cord inflammation.

Currently, little is known about how AMF develops and there are no specific treatments.

However, he said it wouldn't be surprising to see an enterovirus fill an infectious disease niche left by polio, given that polio is also caused by an enterovirus.

EV-A71 can cause hand, food, and mouth disease, primarily in children younger than 5.

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