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Polio-like illness suspected in NY

Oct 23, 2018 12:00 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union New York health officials said October 22, there are at least five suspected cases of acute flaccid myelitis in the state. Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is a mysterious but rare illness causing polio-like symptoms in children. The state Department of Health declined to say more specifically where the cases are suspected, but confirmed they have been outside New York City. At least one suspected case was reported in Buffalo, according to the Associated Press. None of the New York cases have been confirmed yet, according to a department spokesman. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been able to confirm 62 cases of AFM in 22 states, out of the 155 total suspected cases reported to the federal agency so far this year. The CDC said it began to receive increased reports of suspected cases around August and September. AFM is a rare but serious condition. It affects a person's nervous system, specifically the gray matter of the spinal cord, causing weakness in the arms and legs. In some cases, patients recover quickly; in others, they experience paralysis and require ongoing care. It seems to affect children more than adults. The cause has not been determined in the majority of AFM cases. Health officials are reminding people to practice regular disease prevention steps, such as staying up to date on vaccines, washing your hands and protecting yourself from mosquito bites. Read the full story in the Times Union.