Washington state polio-like cases linked to rare syndrome - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington state polio-like cases linked to rare syndrome

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SEATTLE -

A scary disease has caught the attention of health officials in Washington. It's a rare condition that affects the nervous system and right now the Washington Department of Health has confirmed eight of nine cases called acute flaccid myelitis or AFM.

Most of the cases are happening over on the west side however, two of them happen to be in Franklin County. KHQ talked with the Spokane Regional Health District and they said they are well aware of it but have no cases here.

Symptoms of AFM typically include sudden weakness in one or both arms or legs, along with loss of muscle tone and decreased or absent reflexes. There is no confirmed cause of AFM although several viruses and germs are linked to the condition like colds and sore throats.

Three children remain hospitalized in the state because of it and five were released as of a week ago.

There were no cases of AFM reported in Washington State in 2015, and in 2014 there were two. Since September 2016, there have been 89 cases of AFM in 33 states across the U.S. so far this year.

Health officials say the best thing to do is make sure your kids wash their hands and cover their cough.

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