“Symptoms (of AFM) typically include sudden weakness in one or more arms or legs, along with loss of muscle tone and decreased or absent reflexes,” health officials said. “AFM can cause a range of types and severity of symptoms, but the commonality among them is a loss of strength or movement in one or more arms or legs. The cause of any individual case of AFM can be hard to determine, and often, no cause is found. CDC specialists will make the final determination if these (new Washington state) cases are AFM.”
5 WA children from 4 counties were hospitalized for sudden onset of paralysis, likely brought on by acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). “We’ll continue to investigate and share information when we have it.” Read our news release for more information. https://t.co/Trq0UUoNKZpic.twitter.com/5ZcdRmpzsY
“It’s bringing back a lot of hysteria, and if you knew anyone who lived during the polio time, there was a lot of hysteria about polio,” Preiss said. “Most of the time, everyone gets better and everyone is fine, but in these rare cases, there is some immune response that is attacking the muscles of these children.”
The Centers for Disease Control doesn’t know the exact cause of this virus that starts as a cold but then attacks the nervous system, causing different forms of paralysis.
Preiss says a lot is dependent on how a person’s immune system responds to this particular virus.
“Some of the time, when people get viruses – and I’m not even speaking about this particular virus – bad things happen because we have these hyper-immune systems, and some of these hyper-immune system responses are what causes the paralysis,” she said.
The CDC is now looking at the samples taken from the children at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
It will be several weeks before we know if the virus strain in Pittsburgh is the same as the virus in Minnesota that’s affected six kids and made national headlines.
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC confirmed to Channel 11 on Tuesday that three children suspected to be suffering from acute flaccid myelitis, or "AFM," are being treated there.
"The patients are currently undergoing diagnostic procedures and treatment," the hospital said in a statement. "Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place and we're working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions."