• Santiago “Chago” Ortiz

Rare muscular disease is on the rise in Minnesota children


Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare and severe condition that affects muscles by weakening or paralyzing them, causes respiratory failure and death and it is typically have been found in children.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported that from September 2018, there have been six cases reported of children 10 years-of-age or younger, with AFM. This is an alarming number because up to 2014, the MDH has only seen 1 case or less per year.

Kris Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease division at MDH said “since we don’t know, really, how [AFM} is transmitted, it’s really hard to say if we’ll see more cases.”

Ehresmann also encouraged parents to continue to promote disease prevention habits, such as having their children wash their hands regularly after bathroom usage, playing outside, or before meals, staying home if they are sick, avoid bug bites, such as mosquitos and fleas, and stay on top of their vaccinations.


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