Ten suspected cases of rare nervous system disease in northern IL children

Lynette PayneOct 14, 2018

Health officials said all the cases have come up in northern IL, and at least two of the children have been treated at Lurie Children's Hospital.

OR hasn't had any cases of AFM this year.

The reported IL cases are preliminary diagnoses and only the U.S. Centers for Disease Control can confirm the diagnosis, according to Arnold. The CDC says the condition is not new but there's been an increase in cases starting in 2014. Medical experts have said AFM itself is not believed to be contagious, but the causes of it could be.

Health officials say enteroviruses (polio and non-polio), West Nile virus (WNV) and viruses in the same family as WNV may cause AFM.

As of now no AFM cases have been reported in Southern Illinois.

This year there have been 38 confirmed cases of AFM in 16 states across the nation, said UH.

From August 2014 to August 2018, the CDC reported receiving information that there had been a total of 362 cases, most of which affected children.

An Illinois Department of Public Health statement said they are working with doctors to collect information on the nine cases reported. AFM has been compared to polio because the condition can lead to paralysis.

"If their child gets an enteroviral infection, they need to look for symptoms such as sudden onset of arm and leg weakness, difficulty swallowing".

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