Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS -

Nine cases of a rare con­di­tion that af­fects the ner­vous sys­tem, in par­tic­u­lar the spinal cord, have been re­ported by health care providers in Illi­nois.

The con­di­tion is called acute flac­cid myeli­tis, or AFM, which at­tacks the ner­vous sys­tem and can lead to arm or leg weak­ness and loss of mus­cle re­flexes.

The re­ported Illi­nois cases are pre­lim­i­nary di­ag­noses and only the U.S. Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol can con­firm the di­ag­no­sis, ac­cord­ing to Arnold. Un­til then, doc­tors are treat­ing the cases as if they are AFM.

Two-year-old Ju­lia Payne is one of two chil­dren be­ing treated for AFM in Chicago. The other is an 8-year-old girl from In­di­ana, whose fa­ther said she has some paral­y­sis and a par­tially col­lapsed lung.

“Your typ­i­cal 2-year-old, be­fore this she was run­ning around telling knock-knock jokes and get­ting into trou­ble,” said Ju­lia’s mother, Katie Payne, who added that the girl’s first symp­toms re­sem­bled those of a com­mon cold. “She went in for an X-ray and she couldn’t hold her head up by her­self any­more, which was very strange.”

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