Polio-like disease

Center for Disease Control

Center for Disease Control

Mahkayla Perrin, Staff Writer

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The center for disease control has now released that there is a polio-like disease called Acid Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) going around. Cases have been confirmed in twenty-two different states. The disease is a rare condition that affects the nervous system and the area of  the spinal cord which can cause paralysis.

The symptoms of this disease are a sudden arm or leg weakness or a loss of muscle tone and reflexes, facial droop, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has not confirmed the cause for this disease, but there is a vaccination available. Alongside that, it is suggested that people avoid mosquitoes by using bug spray or repellent. The CDC reports that it mainly affects children across the U.S. The average age for the past five years is 4 years old, and 90 percent of all cases occur in children 18 and younger according to the analysis of cases represented in the recent years. Treatments for this disease vary, but one common treatment is physical therapy to improve patient health.

In June, five year old Elizabeth Storrie from Fort Worth, Texas couldn’t lift her arm and she had cold like symptoms. After a few days she was hospitalized with severe neck and back pain to the point where she could not even turn her head. According to Dr. Arnaout, a doctor at a Texas children’s hospital, “It was in her cervical spine and she likely will not breathe on her own again, she likely will not walk again.” As previously stated, there is no specific treatment for this disease so the doctors, nurses and her parents watched her and waited for her to improve, which eventually happened.

In the past few years doctors have been trying to get the word out about this disease and how rare it is. Doctors also want children to wash their hands often and use hand sanitizer.