Dept. of Health: 1 case of AFM, a polio-like disease, confirmed in Ohio

Polio-like disease hits the Tri-State

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A case of the polio-like disease acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, has been confirmed this year in Ohio, according to the state’s Department of Health.

The disease has spread to more than 20 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told the Raycom News Network that the CDC is investigating 127 case with 62 confirmed.

Messonnier said the rare disease impacts the spinal cord and seems to be hitting children more than other age groups. Symptoms of the disease include weakness to limbs and loss of muscle tone.

“You may see symptoms of a cold,” said Dr. Joshua Schaffzin, director of Infection Prevention and Control at Cincinnati Children’s. “You may see symptoms of a viral gastric intestinal stomach issue. Then afterward the child will develop weakness in their legs and in their arms.”

Messonnier said one child with the disease died in 2017, though she stressed that the disease is extremely rare with fewer than 1 in a million people impacted.

Shaffzin said the disease has ebbed and flowed since 2014. He said there were 33 cases in 16 states in 2017.

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