Klobuchar Calls for CDC Investigation of Polio-Like Illness

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

The CDC must review case information to confirm the cases under observation in Pittsburgh, a process which could take a few weeks, Scarpino said. Three other cases were reported in Pierce, Lewis, and Snohomish counties.

It's an afternoon at the park for mom Susie Wells and her little ones, she says her kid's health is her most important priority, so hearing about five children in western Washington with AFM caught her attention.

"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.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the long-term effects of AFM are unknown. Symptoms can include facial muscle weakness, seen as droopiness; issues moving the eyes or droopy eyelids; issues swallowing; or slurred speech. Her pediatric intensive care doctor says the road to recovery will be a long one with much physical therapy. It's also known as 'AFM'.

"These are all children under five", said Chas DeBolt, a senior epidemiologist for vaccine-preventable disease at the Department of Health. Some people with AFM may be unable to urinate.

We've been reporting about the polio-like illness affecting two children here in Chicago, nine in northern IL and others across the country, but how concerned should parents be about the spread to their children?

The CDC estimates that less than a million people will get AFM every year in the United States.

CDC specialists will make the final call on whether these cases are in fact AFM. Between January 1 to September 30, 2018, 38 people in 16 states have been confirmed to have AFM. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended.

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