A virus linked to a polio-like illness has been found in New York children. The CDC is confirming 62 cases of the illness, acute flaccid myeletis, in children. The cases are spread across 22 states.

The CDC says they have not been able to determine the cause of the sudden increase in cases, and says acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) can be caused by a variety of things including poliovirus, West Nile virus, and other viruses.

While cases of AFM have been on the rise across the United States, a virus linked to the disease has been confirmed in NY, where one child has been reported to have symptoms of AFM.

There have been outbreaks of AFM in previous years which coincided with an outbreak of the virus EV-D68. 39 children in New York have contracted EV-D68.

The New York State Department of Health says  EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, or no symptoms at all. EV-D68 infection most commonly results in mild symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches and muscle aches. Severe symptoms, while less common, may include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

According to the CDC, AFM is rare, but it can lead to serious neurologic problems. You should seek medical care right away if you or your child develops any of these symptoms:

  • weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the arms or legs
  • facial droop or weakness
  • difficulty moving the eyes
  • drooping eyelids
  • difficulty swallowing
  • slurred speech