MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials are telling doctors to be on the lookout for a rare disorder that causes paralysis after six Minnesota children were diagnosed with the disease in recent weeks.
The disorder is called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. It attacks the nervous system and can lead to arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle reflexes.
AFM affects less than one in a million children. Its origins are a mystery, but officials say a virus can cause some cases. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.
The Star Tribune reports the polio-like disease came to the attention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014 after clusters were discovered in Colorado and California.
The six Minnesota children are all 10 and younger and are in the Twin Cities, central and northeastern Minnesota.