The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reported an additional acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) case, which brings the state total to seven since mid-September 2018 in Minnesota children.

Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

Minnesota typically sees at most one case of AFM per year. There has also been an increase of cases nationally this fall.

CDC on acute flaccid myelitis: ‘The number of cases reported in this time period in 2018 is similar to what was reported in the fall of 2014 and 2016’

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken. AFM can be caused by a variety of germs (including viruses), environmental factors and genetics.

Symptoms of AFM sometimes follow a viral illness and can include: Sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs, neck weakness and some other symptoms that patients may have include drooping eyelids or a facial droop, and difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

Take these basic steps to help keep you and your family healthy: Wash hands frequently to limit exposure to germs, cover coughs or sneezes, stay home when sick, make sure you and your family are up to date on vaccinations and take steps to prevent mosquito bites.