There have been 9 confirmed cases of the Polio-like illness in Illinois. Here's what parents need to know about it.

Yesterday we told you about a rare polio-like illness that has affected several children throughout the country, including an Illinois toddler. WGN shares that 9 cases of the polio-like sickness have been reported in our state.

The illness is called Acute Flaccid Myelitis or paralysis (AFM) was discovered in 2014 and at that time "doctors assumed a virus was to blame, but they didn’t know which one. Without a known culprit, there is no vaccine, prevention or cure."

What should parents be looking for if their child contracts AFM?

The symptoms mimic much like those of polio where "weakness occurs because inflammation of the spinal cord disrupts the normal responses from the brain to the Somebody, including the lungs, which can lead to breathing problems for patients."

Some children may experience a facial drop like Bell's palsy and "they may have difficulty moving their eyes and some have slurred speech or difficulty swallowing."

The symptoms can be picked up right away because they are rare and something you wouldn't expect to see in a child.

 

Health officials say that it appears that this illness affects children but if adults are exposed to it they seem to have an immunity.

What can parents do about prevention or spreading of AFM?

Doctors advise that "it’s time to get back to the basics of how we prevent viruses from spreading."

That means we  need to "[encourage our] kids to wash their hands, [teach] them to cover their mouths with their elbow when they cough or sneeze, and keep them home if they are sick."

Should parents be concerned about sending their children to school or other public places?

Doctor's say that "It’s extremely uncommon [and that] this is not something that parents should be concerned about sending their children from school or anything." However, as stated previously we need to "get back to the basics of how [to] prevent viruses from spreading" from the steps previously mentioned above.

I hope this helps parents and that a cure can be found before AFM becomes even more prevalent in our country affecting more children in every state.