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It’s a debilitating, mystery illness..and it’s spreading.
The CDC says pediatric acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is now affecting young children in 22 states following a recent spike in Minnesota.
Symptoms of AFM are similar to polio. The disease affects the body’s nervous system and can cause paralysis.
Parents have reported that the limbs of affected children appear lifeless.
Last year, one child died of the disease.
AFM appears to target children at around age 4. Health officials are alarmed and frustrated, because a specific cause hasn’t been identified.
Some believe it may be triggered by a virus.
Cases have been on the rise since 2014.
Unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM.
Health officials are urging parents to seek immediate medical advice if their child experiences weakness or loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs.