Twelve additional suspected cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a condition that affects the nervous system, were found in Pittsburgh and Illinois after six cases were were found in Minnesota earlier this week. According to the Illinois State Department of Public Health, nine cases of AFM were reported by Wednesday from northern Illinois. All of the cases occurred in individuals younger than 18 years of age. Local news station KDKA reports UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh confirmed it had three children with suspected cases of AFM under its care. “The patients are currently undergoing diagnostic procedures and treatments,” the hospital said in a statement. “Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place and we are working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, AFM is a rare but “serious condition that causes weakness in the arms or legs.” So far in 2018, 38 cases of AFM have been confirmed across 16 states. While 2017 had only 33 confirmed cases, 2016 had 146 confirmed cases in 39 states and D.C.
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