Polio Like Illness Spreads Across Country

An increasing number of kids are contracting a  polio-like illness across the country.

So far, one child in Seattle has died this year from the rare condition, and now Los Angeles is the latest area to see a spike in cases.

Clarissa Guerrero was playing with her 3-year-old son Ezra last month when all of sudden something was wrong.

Ezra`s whole left side became limp.  He was rushed to Children`s Hospital Los Angeles and diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM.

Doctors said the rare illness, that affects the nervous system, can cause sudden weakness in the face, arms or leg; sometimes paralysis.

Neurologist Wendy Mitchell said Children`s Hospital Los Angeles has treated 8 cases of AFM so far this year, after not getting any the year before.

Nationwide, there have been 89 cases in 33 states.

The reason for the spike in numbers is unclear and since the cause of AFM is a mystery, there`s no way to prevent it.

“It`s raised alarm among child neurologists that have seen them because despite lots of conversations across the country,” said Dr. Mitchell. “So far we haven`t found anything that reverses the process.”

After a month of intensive physical therapy, Ezra is walking again.

“His left arm is still not able to move,” said Ezra’s mom. “But he`s able to walk and bend over and do things that he wasn`t able to do a few weeks ago.”

His mother hopes that`s a sign that his arm will get better.

Segment Sponsored By: Mercy Health Systems

2 comments

  • artiewhitefox

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