Five Washington children hospitalized with sudden paralysis

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

Minnesota has noticed a spike in suspected AFM cases in recent weeks.

The children live in King, Pierce, Lewis and Snohomish counties.

Acute Flacid Myelitis or paralysis (AFM) is a rare disorder that is increasing in prevalence. "As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections", Klobuchar wrote. "They may have difficulty moving their eyes and some have slurred speech or difficulty swallowing; so very rare symptoms that you wouldn't expect to see in a child, so can be picked up very quickly", said Dr. Kevin Most, Northwestern.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said there have been 38 confirmed cases of AFM this year through the end of September.

"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health, said. "So, we've seen that there's an association between viruses, specifically enterovirus, in the past".

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It resembles polio, but unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM. What causes it is unknown, possibly a virus, but doctors just don't know.

The CDC estimates that less than a million people will get AFM every year in the United States.

A rare disease called, acute flaccid myelitis or AFM is getting national attention after an increase in cases across the country.

There was a national uptick in AFM cases in 2014.

In 2017, three cases and five so far in 2018. MDH is advising parents to make sure their children's vaccinations are up to date and take precautions such as washing hands and covering your cough.

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