In 2016, Denver7 profiled Kiko Violante, a 3-year-old boy who was diagnosed with AFM. Some cases have been linked to poliovirus (polio) and West Nile virus, according to the CDC.
Minnesota has noticed a spike in suspected AFM cases in recent weeks. All of the cases have been reported on the west side of the state with two children in King County and one child in Pierce County, Lewis County and Snohomish County. Symptoms include weakness in the arms or legs, drooping facial muscles, and difficulty moving the eyes.
The CDC says the number of cases appears to increase and decrease from one year to the next.
Olga said she is not sure if Zoe is included in the six cases under investigation.
The condition targets the spinal cord area that directly affects a person's muscles.
Acute flaccid myelitis has been diagnosed in at least six Minnesota children and health officials admit there are gaps in our understanding of the disease, including its causes and how to treat it. Most said parents can do is encouraging kids to wash their hands, teaching them to cover their mouths with their elbow when they cough or sneeze, and keep them home if they are sick. Now the downtown Chicago hospital says a second child is being treated there, but the family in the second case didn't want to be identified.
The CDC says that both the cause and long-term effects of the disease remain unknown. However, officials said, there are several other possible cases being investigated, and it takes about a month to go through the CDC evaluation process. However, even that may not be enough as AFM can also come on due to environmental factors and genetic disorders.
The outcomes for those afflicted are varied, she said, with some patients recovering fully and others dealing with some level of paralysis for the rest of their lives. "This is certainly the largest outbreak of enterovirus A71 we've seen in Colorado". The CDC reviews medical information on all reported clinical cases to classify cases as AFM.
Herlihy noted it's "quite rare" to suffer neurological complications like AFM, encephalitis and meningitis from enteroviruses. However, it recommends practicing disease prevention measures, including staying up-to-date on vaccines and protecting yourself from mosquito bites.