Possible rare AFM illnesses in five Washington kids under investigation

MGN Online

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Health experts say five kids in Washington are in the hospital for paralysis of one or more limbs, possibly due to a rare disease called acute flaccid myelitis.

The Department of Health (DoH) is investigating with neurology experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if these cases are confirmed acute flaccid myelitis (AFM).

The affected kids, ranging in age from infant to under age six, are from the counties of King, Pierce, Lewis and Snohomish, according to the DoH.

Health leaders said symptoms of AFM include sudden weakness in limbs, loss of muscle tone and decreased reflexes.

Doctors said four of the five patients had a fever of 100.4 F or higher and all reportedly had respiratory illness a week prior to developing AFM symptoms.

Doctors said the cause of a AFM case can be difficult to pinpoint, and often, no cause is found.

Health experts recommend people wash their hands frequently, avoid contact with sick people and clean surfaces often to help protect yourself from some of the condition's known causes.

CDC specialists will make the final determination on whether or not each of these kids have AFM.

People can learn more about this condition at the CDC website.

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