A Mysterious, Polio-like Illness Has Come To Iowa and Illinois
Parents of a toddler boy are alerting other Iowa families after their son contracted an illness that mimics polio.
WQAD reports that 3 year old Camden Stravers from Grimes, Iowa was recently diagnosed with a rare illness called acute flaccid myelitis. Camden's parents thought he had nothing more than a common cold when he became ill this past summer. When Camden had a hard time holding his head up, using his right arm, and was eventually unable to stand, they knew the prognosis was a lot more serious.
“He was eating some food and he could get them out of the bag, but couldn’t get them up to his mouth,” said Camden’s mother, Kelli Stravers. “So, his arm literally quit working while we were in the ER at (Blank Children’s Hospital).”
Camden was diagnosed with AFM, which causes paralysis in the same way polio does. Some children with AFM end up recovering, but others end up needing long term care and rehabilitation. As of right there, there is no known treatment for the illness. Camden ended up spending five weeks in the hospital before he was finally healthy enough to return home.
Health officials say not to panic if your child begins exhibiting cold symptoms, but keep an eye on them to make sure the cold doesn't develop into something more serious. As always, hand washing and avoiding close contact with sick people are recommended.
UPDATE: 9 cases of AFM have also been reported in Northern Illinois. Read more here.