At least 10 Illinois children have been infected with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a condition similar to the polio virus.
The virus, which can cause partial paralysis, among other symptoms, is rare, but is impacting a number of children throughout the country, according to reports issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Here are the symptoms of the disease, according to the CDC:
-Sudden onset of arm or leg weakness
-Loss of muscle tone and reflexes
-Difficulty moving the eyes
-Difficulty swallowing and slurred speech
Doctors can diagnose the disease using an MRI or by looking at images of the patient’s spine, and can also check nerve conduction and response to stimulus.
There are several potential causes for the disease, including viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.
West Nile virus, polio virus and adenoviruses can also cause the disease to develop.
Here are steps parents can take to help prevent the disease:
-Vaccines against poliovirus
-Taking measures to prevent mosquito bites, including staying indoors and dawn and dusk and using mosquito repellent.
For more information, residents are encouraged to visit the CDC’s website.