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Acute Flaccid Myelitis in Arkansas Update
Little Rock, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) received an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend on the five suspected cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) in Arkansas. Of the suspected cases this year, three are now confirmed cases, while the other two have been determined to not be cases. These cases are part of the CDC’s nation-wide investigation of AFM.
Of the three confirmed cases, two are from the *Northwest region of the state, and one is from the Central region of the state. All of the confirmed cases were children under the age of 18. AFM is a rare condition that primarily affects children and does not have a known cause. Symptoms include:
- Sudden arm or leg weakness
- Loss of muscle tone and reflexes
- Facial droop/weakness
- Drooping eyelids
- Difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech
If you or your child experience these symptoms, seek care right away. Because some of the AFM cases in the US have happened after a viral infection, keeping you and your child healthy is the best known way to prevent AFM. This includes making sure children are up-to-date on their vaccines, washing hands often with soap and water and preventing viruses that can be spread by mosquitoes by protecting against mosquito bites. For more information about AFM, click here.