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Oakland County Health Division monitoring rare condition that affects mainly children

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Posted at 12:18 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 13:37:39-04

The Oakland County Health Divison is monitoring the nationwide occurrence of acute flaccid myelitis, a rare, serious condition that is not fully understood.

AFM affects mainly children and is not believed to be contagious. Officials say it may be a rare complication following a viral infection, and environmental and genetic factors may also contribute to its development.

Symptoms include: 

  • Sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty moving the eyes
  • Drooping eyelids or a facial droop/weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing or slurred speech

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states this year.

Since AFM could develop due to a viral infection, the health division recommends parents and children take basic steps to avoid infection, including:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water
  • Staying up to date on vaccinations
  • Protecting yourself and children against mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellant

For more information, visit the CDC's AFM information page here.