Fortunately, the disease is extremely rare with only 100 to 150 total cases per year - none of which have been reported in the Tri-State Area. "However, some illnesses caused by EV-A71 and EV-D68 can be severe enough to require hospitalization".
It has received increased attention in recent weeks after health officials in Minnesota and Colorado saw spikes in reported cases, Illinois Public Health Department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said. Cases have been reported in the metro, central and northeastern Minnesota.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revealed that it had seen 14 cases of AFM this year in wake of an outbreak of viral infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they have information on more than 300 cases dating back to then across the country.
Most AFM sufferers notice sudden muscle weakness in their limbs and loss of reflexes. "CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM". The viruses that are accounted to cause AFM may be contagious from one person to another or may be spread by a mosquito or other vector depending on which virus causes the AFM.
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AFM is a virus that affects the nervous system.
"We've been vigilant", Sanford Health Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Clifford Mauriello said.
"While all the patients were hospitalized, almost all have fully recovered".
The agency said it hasn't confirmed the cause for the majority of the cases, which primarily occur in children.
Doctors now don't know a lot about how AFM spreads. A 2016 report found there were 120 cases recorded across 34 states from August through December 2014.
This year, there was one case of AFM before the current batch of five affected children. "While we don't know if it is effective in preventing AFM, washing your hands often with soap and water is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to other people".