Eight children aged three to fourteen show signs of a mysterious disease, resembling poliomyelitis. They are all from the state of Washington and were also hospitalized at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. They have similar symptoms, such as paralysis of their limbs.
The diseases affected the eight children in different ways, but they all showed signs of muscle loss. The doctors who examined them associated the symptoms with polio. However, the condition is most likely to be acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), which is quite similar to poliomyelitis.
Health experts at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington Health Department are closely investigating the eight cases. They intend to identify the causes and the exact syndrome that is currently affecting the children. They also state that the disease is not contagious. On the other hand, patients can’t fully recover from the disease.
If the disease turns out to be AFM, the specialists can only treat the patients through already existing methods. There are no known causes for this neurological illness. What it does is not allowing the patients to use their arms and/ or legs, inducing some kind of paralysis to them. The condition can affect one or more of the limbs of a patient.
Doctors explain that AFM can be caused by several types of bacteria and germs. They are the same that can trigger mild conditions, such as colds. However, they haven’t figured out yet how the bacteria trigger AFM instead of influenza.
The AFM disease can affect patients regardless of their age. The eight cases in Washington resemble others reported in the past as acute flaccid myelitis. However, the children haven’t been diagnosed with this neurological illness yet. Further investigations are being carried out in order to identify the disease correctly.
For the time being, five of the eight children have been discharged. Only three of them are now at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. All of them developed the strange paralysis symptoms this fall. The first case appeared in September, while the last one was reported only a couple of weeks ago.
Official statistics from CDC show that no less than fifty patients have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis this year in the United States. The syndrome mysteriously hit the States two years ago. However, Washington hadn’t faced the problem in more than a year. There were no such cases reported in the state in 2015.
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