In a follow-up on the acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) situation in Michigan, state health officials are reporting two additional cases involving children in Ottawa and Macomb counties.

This brings the state total to four in 2018.

The CDC had confirmed 165 cases of AFM in 36 states, mostly in children as of Dec. 14.

Image/OpenClipart-Vectors via pixabay
Image/OpenClipart-Vectors via pixabay

AFM is a rare but serious condition affecting the nervous system and can cause the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. Most patients report having a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM.

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The cause or trigger for AFM is not yet known. To help protect yourself or your child from developing AFM, the CDC recommends:

  • Getting vaccinated against poliovirus, which is one of the viruses known to cause AFM. However, this vaccine does not protect against other viruses that may cause AFM.
  • Protecting yourself from bites from mosquitos, which can carry West Nile Virus, another cause of AFM, by using mosquito repellents, staying indoors at dawn and dusk and removing standing or stagnant water near your home.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

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