Health officials are investigating after at least 6 have been treated for sudden onset paralysis of one or more of their limbs.
Health department officials are working alongside experts to see if the children may have acute flaccid myelitis, a disease similar to polio. The rare condition has seen an uptick in cases recently, raising serious red flags with the CDC. The children had all reportedly experienced respiratory issues in the week leading up to the paralysis.
“Symptoms (of AFM) typically include sudden weakness in one or more arms or legs, along with loss of muscle tone and decreased or absent reflexes,” health officials said. “AFM can cause a range of types and severity of symptoms, but the commonality among them is a loss of strength or movement in one or more arms or legs. The cause of any individual case of AFM can be hard to determine, and often, no cause is found. CDC specialists will make the final determination if these (new Washington state) cases are AFM.”