Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received reports of 127 suspected cases of a polio-like condition called acute flaccid myelitis or AFM.
So far, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states, including Iowa. Public Health officials say one confirmed case and another potential case are out of central and western Iowa.
Most cases affect children.
The worrisome part is that it’s still not clear what is causing the condition, which can develop after a viral infection and there is no vaccine for AFM.
Dr. Claudia Vicetti of UnityPoint says parents shouldn’t panic, but it’s important to be aware.
What should parents look for?
Dr. Vicetti says paralysis is a red flag saying, “All of a sudden not being able to stand on your feet, move your legs, walk. Facial expression may be asymmetrical, slurred speech and not being able to swallow.”
Until experts can figure out what’s causing the illness, Dr. Vicetti suggests taking basic precautions like washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough.