2 cases of polio-like illness confirmed in Wisconsin

A child and adult holding hands

A child and adult holding hands

"We recommend seeking medical care right away if you or your child develop sudden weakness of the arms and legs".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they are growing concerned about Acute Flaccid Myelitis.

A rare polio-like illness has been confirmed in a Florida girl, the state's first case of acute flaccid myelitis, television station WFTS reported.

While the symptoms are scary for parents, it's not likely your child will get it, Kerkering said the odds are less than 1 in a million.

Dr. Mobeen Rathore, chief of infectious disease and immunology at Wolfson, said in a statement that the child, who was not identified, was admitted to the hospital with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). But the long-term effects are still unknown. The CDC received reports of 33 confirmed cases of AFM across 16 states in 2017, down from 149 confirmed cases in 39 states in 2016.

The number of cases in 2018 is on track to match a similar number of cases in 2014 and 2016. The average age of patients is 4.

The other three suspected cases in Arkansas are in Central Arkansas and Southwest Arkansas.

Messonnier said some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly while others continue to struggle with paralysis.

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"This is truly a mystery disease", Messonnier told CBS News. Symptoms include muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, problems swallowing, and slurred speech. Another kind of virus was found in only some of the cases. "In very rare cases, it is possible that the process in the body that triggers AFM may also trigger other serious neurologic complications that could lead to death". There have been cases each year since, but the numbers have been higher on alternate years.

Five children in Maryland have contracted symptoms of an illness similar to polio this fall, according to state health officials.

Federal health officials took the unusual step on Tuesday of warning the public about an increase in a mysterious and rare condition that mostly affects children and can cause paralysis.

Rathore, the Jacksonville specialist, said he was not shocked at seeing a case this year.

States reporting suspected cases or cases under investigation are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Washington.

"As a parent myself I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", Messonnier said.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, the CDC says.

"They told us there was no cure". Testing of affected children has turned up a smattering of infections - some by enteroviruses, which is the broad family to which polioviruses belong, but also rhinoviruses, which cause head colds. But Messonnier said that, in general, parents can help protect their children from diseases by washing their hands, making sure their children are up to date with vaccinations and applying insect repellent to protect against mosquito bites, which can spread viruses.

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