Arkansas officials investigate polio-like illness

What is Acute Flaccid Myelitis?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Health officials Arkansas and Oklahoma say a rare illness that’s being compared to polio may have reached the states as it spreads across the U.S.

Officials call the condition acute flaccid myelitis. It attacks the spinal cord and nervous system and causes weakness or temporary paralysis in the arms and legs. Most cases of weakness and paralysis have been in children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of 127 patients with symptoms of the disease this year. The CDC has confirmed 62 cases in 22 states, including Texas, and the rest are being investigated.

An analysis found the average age of the patients in confirmed cases over the past five years is 4 years old, and 90 percent occur in children 18 and younger.

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