State confirms 1st case of rare polio-like illness Acute Flaccid Myelitis in Macomb County child

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 12:16:51-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the first case of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) this season. The case was confirmed by the CDC in a child from Macomb County.

According to the CDC, there are 13 cases of AFM in 10 states this year, mostly in children. Two suspected cases in the state remain under investigation.

Last year, Michigan reported just one case, and five cases in 2018. It's estimated that less than one to two in a million children will get AFM.

“AFM is a rare but serious condition affecting the nervous system and can cause the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Most patients report having a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM.”

The cause or trigger for AFM is not yet known. Most children had a respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before they developed AFM. You can decrease risk of getting viral infections by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

Healthcare providers are asked to report all patients they suspect of having AFM to their local health department.