Rare Polio-like Illness On The Rise In Children

The Washington Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm if the children have AFM.

If you or your child develops any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care right away.

Dr. Elizabeth Meade, chief of pediatrics at Swedish Pediatrics, says AFM is more common in kids and is especially associated with viruses.

Earlier this month, six Minnesota children were diagnosed with the disease. Numbness or tingling is rare in people with AFM, although some people have pain in their arms or legs.

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that two Chicago-area children are being treated at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago for the illness - including 2-year-old Julia Payne, who has been fighting the illness for almost a month. Three other cases were reported in Pierce, Lewis, and Snohomish counties.

With hope, further investigation will address this unnerving uptick in AFM cases, preventing even more little ones from suffering around the country. It is actively investigating AFM cases, and trying to unearth more information about the mysterious condition.

Because of AFM's possible roots in polio, doctors and medical health professionals are urging parents to stay up-to-date on their children's vaccinations. But those aren't the only signs: Other symptoms can include eyelid or facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, according to the state health department. This year along, there were 38 people diagnosed with AFM across 16 states.

Shannon Barbare, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News Tuesday there have been 14 confirmed cases of AFM in the state so far this year - though it's unclear if all of those cases were included in the CDC's latest report. It can also be caused by poliovirus and non-polio enteroviruses, mosquito-borne viruses (such as West Nile virus or Zika virus) and possibly by non-infectious conditions. The condition was first described in 2014 and doctors assumed a virus was to blame, but they didn't know which one. Practices such as regular hand-washing are recommended. Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018.

What made Kanye's White House visit 'a weird moment' for the presidency
McConnell: If Democrats investigate Trump, it could help him win re-election