Rare 'polio-like' disease reported in Minnesota and Colorado

Three cases of a mysterious illness that partially paralyzes children and is likened to polio have now been confirmed in Pittsburgh.

All the children showed systems of a respiratory illness the week before developing symptoms of AFM.

Earlier this month, six Minnesota children were diagnosed with the disease.

According to the Washington Department of Health, the children are being evaluated for acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare condition that affects a person's nervous system and can cause paralysis.

Six is the highest number of cases Minnesota has ever seen. This follows an unusual rise this year in cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in several states.

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Nine cases of AFM were reported in Washington state in 2016.

The CDC recommends getting children vaccinated against the poliovirus, as well as protecting against bites from mosquitos (which carry the West Nile virus). Fourteen cases have been reported in Colorado and six in Minnesota, a lot of them children.

The causes of AFM are unknown, but it can develop as a result of a viral infection.

"There's a sudden onset of weakness in the arm, leg, face, or the muscles that help us swallow and that we use to speak", says Dr. Amaran Moodley from the Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. MDH is advising parents to make sure their children's vaccinations are up to date and take precautions such as washing hands and covering your cough.

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