A rare polio-like disease is affecting children across the country, including an Illinois toddler.

WGN shares that 2-year-old Julia Payne is recovering at the Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago after being diagnosed with AFM, a polio-like disease.

Julia's "symptoms resembled those of a common cold" when she first became ill. "However, she was later diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis."

AFM "affects the body’s nervous system, targets the spinal cord and could lead to paralysis and possibly death."

According to NBC Chicago, "is on the uptick in parts of the U.S., with six cases under investigation in Minnesota and 14 reported in Colorado", plus now the toddler in Illinois.

The disease appeared to be "popping up across the country in late summer and early fall."  According to the CDC "says there have been 38 confirmed cases of the polio-like condition across 16 states."

Health Officials say that  currently, there is "no cure for AFM and [that] the exact cause is uncertain."

Julia's mother, Katie Payne, has said  that it's "her faith is what’s keeping them going, and said she’s sharing this story to help spread the word about the illness."

We hope and pray for a full recovery for little Julia.

Our hope in spreading this message for Julia and her mother Katie is to make all parents of little ones aware of this.