Health Care

Rare cases of a nervous system disorder being reported

Rare cases of a nervous system disorder being reported”

AFM affects the nervous system, specifically, the central region of the spinal cord which is filled with grey matter-a type of nerve cell.

At least six children in the state have been diagnosed and hospitalized with acute flaccid myelitis (or AFM) since September 20.

The Minnesota Department of Health said that the state had three cases of AFM in 2014. She also requested the agency answer seven questions about its response efforts by October 16 and conduct a member-level briefing for senators seeking more information on the issue.

The cause of AFM is still unknown, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "I urge the CDC to provide more information immediately about preventive measures and treatments". It has, however, been linked to a number of common germs that cause colds, sore throats and respiratory infections as well as to other viruses, including poliovirus, non-polio enteroviruses and mosquito-borne viruses, such as the Zika virus.

Four-year-old Orville Young, right, is is believed to be one of the first patients in the Minnesota cluster of acute flaccid myelitis patients. The severe form the disease can cause neurologic symptoms, including encephalitis and AFM. Then, cases spiked again to 149 in 2016. AFM is basically a viral infection and its exact cause of happening is still not known.

According to a statement released by the agency, the state normally sees about one case of AFM per year, though there was a nationwide spike in 2014 following an outbreak of an enterovirus called EV-68.

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Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM remains a very rare condition.

Normally when the people get affected with this disease, more than half of them don't recognize these symptoms as polio doesn't have any visible symptoms.

None of those cases are in Olmsted County, but it's still a concern across the state.

Symptoms include limb weakness, facial drooping, and trouble swallowing or speaking.

Quinton Hill is one of six cases of AFM in Minnesota reported since September 20.

Quinton has lost a lot of the strength in his left arm, along with some weakness in his legs and neck. The condition can be diagnosed by examining a person's nervous system, taking a magnetic resonance imaging scan and testing the cerebral spinal fluid. Staying up to date on recommended immunizations is also important to avoiding vaccine-preventable illnesses, the health department said.



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