Michigan has four cases of suspected acute flaccid myelitis | Michigan Radio
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Michigan has four cases of suspected acute flaccid myelitis

Oct 23, 2018

Four children in Michigan may have a rare condition known as acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

AFM affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs. The Centers for Disease Control says AFM is associated with viruses such as West Nile, poliovirus, and non-polio enterovirus.

Lynn Sutfin is a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  She says parents should seek medical care for children if they show symptoms.

"Some of those symptoms can include muscle weakness,  drooping of the face or eyelids, difficulty moving the eyes, or even difficulty swallowing or slurred speech," says Sutfin.

Sutfin says parents should protect their children against mosquito bites, and make sure they are up to date on their vaccines, as well as encourage frequent handwashing.

It will likely be several weeks before it's known if the cases are AFM, due to the difficulty of testing for it.