UPMC confirms 3 suspected cases of rare disease that paralyzes children

6 Minnesota kids diagnosed with rare, polio-like disease

"UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is taking care of three children with suspected Acute Flaccid Myelitis".

Doctors say that it can start out just like a common cold.

However, 11 of the Colorado cases of AFM have tested positive for EV A71, a rare type of enterovirus not usually seen in the USA but instead in Asia and other parts of the world, according to Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the Colorado state epidemiologist. Eventually they narrowed it down to AFM. "Now you're finding cases in Canada, you're finding cases where people are looking hard for children with this basically, paralysis-like illness".

In Washington state, the Department of Health is investigating at least five cases this year that have sent kids to the hospital. Instead, people who are diagnosed with it are given "aggressive supportive care", Adalja says.

With cases on the rise, parents like Wells say she'll keep those symptoms in mind.

Shannon Barbare, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News Tuesday there have been 14 confirmed cases of AFM in the state so far this year - though it's unclear if all of those cases were included in the CDC's latest report. Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018.

"These are all children under five", said Chas DeBolt, a senior epidemiologist for vaccine-preventable disease at the Department of Health.

AFM is a weakening of the nerves that causes partial paralysis in children.

There is no treatment other than managing each patient's symptoms.

There have been 38 confirmed cases in 16 states so far.

The health department says there are no specific recommendations for avoiding AFM, but washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, and staying up-to-date on immunizations is recommended. This does not include all of the 14 cases announced by Colorado, as some of those cases were confirmed after September 30. "This condition is not new, but the increase in cases we saw starting in 2014 is new".

It also does not include the cases in Minnesota or IL, as they are not confirmed. One hundred forty-nine cases were reported in 39 states in 2016 and 22 cases in 17 states in 2015.

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