Transcript for What to know about rare disease causing partial paralysis in children
Moving on to our cover story, it’s about a rare polio-like illness striking children across multiple states. Three new cases of afm in Pennsylvania. Paula Faris with the details. It is certainly disturbing. With these new cases we’re now looking at 38 diagnosed this year and it is an especially troubling illness because there is no cure, no vaccine and doctors don’t know how it’s spread. More cause for concern as three suspected new cases of that rare polio-like illness were reported in Pittsburgh. The disorder is called acute flaccid myelitis or afm. It looks like a cold or the flu but quickly turns into polio-like symptoms. Those symptoms can include fever, arm or leg weakness, walking strangely, paralysis and problems speaking. So far this year clusters have been detected in 16 states. 38 cases total. That’s already surpassing last year’s total. Your typical 2-year-old before this was running around, telling knock-knock jokes. It attacked Julia’s body, her spinal cord. Reporter: These Illinois parents say their 2-year-old daughter Julia is recovering after treatment. But 20-year-old Hanna Mcneil of Colorado is learning to walk again after weakness in her lower extremities worsened landing her in the hospital. She spends most days in a wheelchair. It breaks my heart to see the little kids going through it. Reporter: Of the number of cases over the last four years most have occurred in young children. And doctors say it’s rare with no cure and they don’t know how it’s transferred. But most patients recover fully. Some kids regain some of their function but some kids have long-lasting paralysis of their arm or leg. It’s one step at a time. It’s one day at a time. It’s one minute at a time. One second at a time. Reporter: Doctors stress the importance of recognizing those early signs and then seeking care as soon as possible and because they are not certain how it’s transmitted it underscores the importance of washing your hand, staying current on vaccinations and avoiding mosquito bites. It is a scary one, thanks very much. We have more now on that red
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