There's a strange illness that has already affected children in New York similar to polio. This is what it is and this is what you should look out for in your children.

Polio was a disease that we thought had been wiped out and no worries, that's still true, but there's a new illness with similar symptoms that the New York State Department of Health is telling us to look out for.

CBS 6 is reporting that the New York State Department of Health has confirmed five total suspected cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). According to Wikipedia, it's a "rare but serious neurologic illness of sudden onset, usually in children. It presents with localised limb weakness and visible changes on MRI. The cause is currently unknown."

Health officials are warning parents to be extra cautious if their children present similar symptoms as the disease is most common in infants, children and teenagers this time of year. They also warn that there are 39 confirmed cases of the enterovirus EV-D68 which can lead to AFM.

EV-D68 starts with mild common symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, muscle aches, difficulty breathing, and more. Then, if it becomes AFM, symptoms include arm or leg weakness with "loss of muscle tone and reflexes" and could lead to death.

A local pediatrician is telling parents to be extra alert for your child tripping more or not walking well, especially if one side of their face seems as if it's drooping or if their speech is slurred. To try and prevent infection, they recommend doing the same things you would do for the flu.


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