More cases than normal are popping up throughout North America, and it isn’t apparent why.
If you haven’t heard of this news yet, we’re here to catch you up to speed. A new illness has cropped up in both the U.S and Canada and it’s a bit scarier than a Halloween ghost.
It’s being called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). Similar to polio, it paralyzing those who’ve contracted it. The illness is rare, but so far in Canada, 25 probable cases have been confirmed in 2018, and 5 additional cases of “sudden onset muscle weakness” have been reported in children.
All of the cases have popped up in children under the age of 15. And there’s no known cure.
In the U.S, there have been 127 reported cases in 2018, according to the CDC, with 90% affecting children.
The tricky thing about AFM is that it doesn’t seem to have a known “cure-all” solution, and there are many ways to get it. In some people, it starts out looking like a common cold. It can be passed as a virus. In others, it could surface as part of a genetic disorder. In all cases, it leads to muscle stiffness or weakness, which can become serious enough to paralyze the patient indefinitely.
Authorities are urging parents, caregivers and educators to remind children to maintain good hand-washing hygiene, and to cover their cough with an elbow when they sneeze.
Always take a child to the doctor, if you’re concerned about their health. For more information on AFM, click here.
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