Polio-like Illness Affects Multiple Children in Minnesota

An increased number of cases has health officials concerned.

Minnesota has seen a spike in cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a serious polio-like disorder that impacts the nervous system. Six children under 10-years-old have been affected since mid-September. Typically, Minnesota sees one case at most each year. It’s unclear what is behind this outbreak.

For Quinton HIll, 7, and his family, an official diagnosis took several weeks. “He started complaining that he couldn’t use his arm very well, his neck froze up to where he really wouldn’t turn his head,” Hill’s father, James HIll said. “Doctors were perplexed at first.”

Symptoms include, sudden muscle weakness in arms and legs, neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids or face, trouble swallowing and/or slurred speech.

Health officials recommend maintaining hand hygiene, keeping vaccines up-to-date and seeing a doctor if your child is experiencing any of the symptoms. There is currently no vaccine or cure for AFM.

Learn more about this story here.

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Sandee Gruner

Sandee Gruner

Sandee Gruner is a full-time working mom with a love for writing and communications. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two children, where she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring local attractions and volunteering.

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