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.
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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.
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