Child with polio-like disease being treated at Cincinnati Children’s

Doctors warn parents of AFM

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A case of the polio-like disease acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is being treated at Cincinnati Children’s.

The state has at least two confirmed cases of the disease.

Elijah, 4, was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 12.

“He’s doing really well and responding well to the physical therapies,” Alex Voalnd, Elijah’s mother said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 155 suspected cases, with 62 confirmed cases of AFM in 22 states.

“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.”

Voland said she’s hopeful her son will make a full recovery.

“He was laying on the couch. He would have us carry him to the restroom. He wasn’t eating a lot and then we noticed we went to stand him up and he took two steps collapsed," she said.

Doctor’s said each case is different, so treatment is based on symptoms.

In Elijah’s case, he’s doing intensive rehab therapy every day. Doctors said Elijah had paralysis in both his legs.

“The left leg as of two weeks ago we started to see movement in it. He can move his ankle now up and down. He is moving his left hip a little bit. He is able to take some steps forward with therapy with a lot of support. The right leg he is still working hard at," Neurologist Marissa Vawter said.

What is Acute Flaccid Myelitis?

The average age of patients with the condition is just 4-years-old.

“Really what it comes down to is parents know their children well. They should trust their gut. If your child is not getting better the way you might expect after a typical cold, pick up the phone and call your physician. That’s why we are here. That’s what we do.” Schaffzin said.

As for Elijah, his mom said they are just going to take it day by day.

“He’s going to be OK regardless because I am his mom, so what ever our new normal is we are going to keep on going," she said.

The CDC estimates that only one in a million people in the U.S. will contract the disease yearly.

Copyright 2018 WXIX. All rights reserved.