9 CASES OF RARE ILLNESS REPORTED IN ILLINOIS
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.”