Wayne County Child First Confirmed Case Of Rare, Polio-Like Illness

December 05, 2018 - 5:20 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - State health officials have confirmed the first case of a rare, but serious condition in Michigan.

A statement released to WWJ confirms a case of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). Michigan health officials say the case involves a child from Wayne County. 

AFM affects the nervous system and can cause the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. On top of this confirmed case, there are seven suspected cases in the state that are still under investigation.

Across the country, there have been 134 cases in 33 states.

In October, Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, told WWJ  there were four possible cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM -- a rare but serious condition -- in Macomb, Oakland and Ottawa counties.

"(There are) four people that have signs of muscle inflammation, weakness or paralysis in certain areas," Wells told WWJ's Dr. Deanna Lites. "Three of these cases in Michigan are less than the age of 18. We do have one adult as well."

The average age of patients confirmed to have the condition is just 4 years old, and more than 90 percent of cases overall occur in children age 18 and younger, according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Healthcare providers are being asked to report all patients they suspect of having AFM to their local health department. 

Get more information about Acute Flaccid Myelitis from the CDC at this link.