4 possible cases of polio-like illness in Michigan, according to Michigan Department of Health

Posted at 4:28 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 18:11:10-04

Michigan now has four possible cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), which is a polio-like illness that affects a person's nervous system.

The condition is often found in children and is not believed to be contagious. 

The cases were reported in Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Ottawa counties, according to a spokeswoman with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. One case is an adult male from central lower Michigan, which was reported earlier in October. The other three cases are in patients under age 18. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 62 confirmed cases of AFM in 22 states across the country. In addition to the confirmed cases, there are 93 cases being reported and investigated by the CDC, state and local health departments across the country. 

AFM is caused by a rare complication that follows a viral infection. Environmental and genetic factors may also contribute to developing the illness. 

Symptoms of AFM include facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech, according to the CDC. 

To avoid infections, health officials suggest washing your hands frequently with soap and water, staying up to date on vaccinations and protecting yourself and children against mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using EPA-registered insect repellent. 

For more information on AFM, visit the CDC webpage here