Rare polio-like illness leaving children with ‘weak and floppy limbs’ hits UK after sweeping across America

By Tariq TahirInvalid Date,A RISE in cases of a rare and incurable disease that can paralyse children has led to a probe by health officials.Acute flaccid paralysis affects the nervous system, causing one or more of the limbs to become weak or floppy and can look similar to polio.The condition mainly affects childrenGetty – Contributor2The condition mainly affects childrenA total of 28 cases of AFP have been reported in the country this year, according to official figures.That is more than the previous nine years combined and there were only 25 cases between 2009 and 2017.Public Health England has now begun investigating the spike in outbreaks of the condition, which mainly affects children.Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisations at PHE stressed that that the disease is “very rare”.There has been an outbreak in the similar acute flaccid myelitis condition in the USAlamy2There has been an outbreak in the similar acute flaccid myelitis condition in the US“However, if you or your child develops weakness in any limb you should seek medical care immediately so that appropriate testing and care can be given.“We are investigating potential causes and working hard to build better awareness amongst health care professionals about how to test and manage patients with AFP.”Symptoms of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)AFM is rare but incredibly serious.It affects the nervous system – in particular, part of the spinal cord which causes muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak.Symptoms include:Most people will have a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Other sings can include: facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech pain in arms or legs constipationThe most severe symptom of AFM is respiratory failure that can happen when the muscles involved with breathing become weak.In very rare cases, it is possible that the process in the body that triggers AFM may also trigger other serious neurologic complications that could lead to death.Source: CDCAFP can be difficult to diagnose because there are many other causes of weakness.Doctors will typically examine a patient’s nervous system and look at images of the spinal cord and brain.They can also test the fluid around the brain and spinal cord and may check the nervous system conduction.MOST READ IN NEWSLatestKILLER DRIVER DEAD Drug driver who killed two brothers in hit-and-run found dead in cellLatestBOXING DAY PANIC Screaming shoppers flee London mall as cops swoop & arrest man with knifeLIVING NIGHTMARE Mum’s terror after waking at 4am to find stranger with her toddler sonTOOTH HURTS Girl, 5, ‘almost bleeds to death’ as she’s discharged ’20mins after tooth op’XMAS TRAGEDY Woman in her 30s knocked down and killed as she crossed road on Christmas DayFOR FOX SAKE Violence flares at Boxing Day fox hunts as protesters claim THEY were attackedThe condition is thought to be caused by viruses called polioviruses and non-polio enteroviruses, which has led to comparison with polio, a disease which has been eradicated.The increase in the UK comes amid a record high number of cases of an almost identical condition in the US this year.At least 158 children have been affected, acute flaccid myelitis, which has the same effects.None have died but around half of the diagnosed patients have had to be taken into intensive care and put on ventilators.We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.’

Source: Rare polio-like illness leaving children with ‘weak and floppy limbs’ hits UK after sweeping across America


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