Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reports two recent cases of polio-like illness

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia reports two recent cases of polio-like illness

She is now one of 38 children to develop partial paralysis from acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 16 USA states so far this year.

The Washington Department of Health said Wednesday that the children are 6 or younger.

EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, or no symptoms at all.

Possible causes of AFM include viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of cases has been increasing since 2014 with a total of 362.

Over the past year, almost 40 cases of a polio-like sickness have been diagnosed across the country - two of which were reported right next door to Penn at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, but a neurologist may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis. So far this year, cases have been reported in 16 states. "We're working closely with medical providers and public health agencies".

Earlier this week, six children in Minnesota were diagnosed with this "rare" disease. Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Mark Hicar said driving the vehicle is more of a danger than catching AFM. Lurie Children's Hospital has treated at least two of the children diagnosed with AFM, but it had not received any additional AFM patients as of Friday.

"We do not yet know the long-term effects of AFM", a CDC report said.

"It is sudden onset of weakness in an arm, leg, face or the muscles that help us swallow and we use to speak", Dr. Amaran Moodley told ABC News.

The infection is similar to viruses like polio and West Nile that affect the nervous system - especially the spinal cord - causing muscles and reflexes to become weak.