'Polio-like' illness cases flaring up: Should you be concerned?

Also see | What is acute flaccid myelitis, the mysterious polio-like disorder affecting kids?

Though officials have observed a rise in cases since 2014, the condition's origins remain unclear. "They may have difficulty moving their eyes and some have slurred speech or difficulty swallowing; so very rare symptoms that you wouldn't expect to see in a child, so can be picked up very quickly", said Dr. Kevin Most, Northwestern.

There are three new cases of a rare illness with symptoms similar to polio, and the patients are being treated in Pittsburgh.

"What we do know is that AFM can be caused by lots of different things, and one of those things is a viral infection", Dr. Meade said.

Most AFM sufferers notice sudden muscle weakness in their limbs and loss of reflexes. The Minnesota Department of Health put out an alert last week, stating that six cases have been reported in children across that state over the past several weeks.

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The agency will work closely with the Transportation Safety Board, which is responsible for investigating the incident, he said. About 100 people have been evacuated from the nearby Lheidli T'enneh First Nation as a precaution.

Specialists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will confirm the diagnoses.

Since Sept. 20, six children under the age of 10 have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a serious nervous system condition that is believed to affect the spinal cord and gray matter, causing muscle weakness, which can lead to paralysis, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

There was a national uptick in AFM cases in 2014.

"Of the AFM cases, 11 tested positive for enterovirus A71, one tested positive for enterovirus D68, and two tested negative for enteroviruses", the department said in an online statement Tuesday. "There have been no deaths". The majority were in the Denver metropolitan area, she added.

The doctor says there is no need to panic and there's no vaccine for the disease.

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