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Instances of polio-like illness on the rise

Nov 08, 2018 12:30 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union New York health officials are reporting the number of suspected cases of a polio-like illness is on the rise. A total of nine suspected cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a mysterious condition that's paralyzing children nationwide, have been reported by the state Department of Health. None of the nine cases have been confirmed yet. Citing patient confidentiality laws, the department declined to say where the suspected cases originated, other than outside of New York City. AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects a person's nervous system, and causes weakness in the arms and legs. In some cases, patients recover quickly; in others, they experience paralysis and require ongoing care. A diagnosis is made when a patient's symptoms include acute onset of weakness in the limbs, and an MRI shows a lesion in the gray matter of the spinal cord. Suspected cases of AFM have been reported in 25 states this year, with an increase occurring in August and continuing through September and October. While a cause for AFM remains unknown, health officials are reminding people to practice regular disease prevention steps, such as staying up to date on vaccines, washing hands and protecting against mosquito bites. Read the full story in the Times Union.