Polio-like disease that's paralyzing kids now in Chicago, Pittsburgh

The condition is called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, which attacks the nervous system, particularly the spinal cord, and can lead to arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle reflexes.

She referred to these 11 cases as an outbreak within an outbreak.

"Physicians are on the lookout for the more common symptoms", said Dr. Angela Sinner, of Gillette Children's Hospital. Three other cases were reported in Pierce, Lewis, and Snohomish counties.

In September, IDPH issued an alert to health care providers about AFM, including information about reporting this clinical syndrome and submitting specimens. This year along, there were 38 people diagnosed with AFM across 16 states.

At least two children in the Greater Houston Area have contracted a rare illness that mimics polio and can cause paralysis in children.

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With hope, further investigation will address this unnerving uptick in AFM cases, preventing even more little ones from suffering around the country. "CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM". The causes of AFM vary from viruses to environmental toxins to genetic disorders, according to the health department.

Shannon Barbare, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told Fox News Tuesday there have been 14 confirmed cases of AFM in the state so far this year - though it's unclear if all of those cases were included in the CDC's latest report. However, officials said, there are several other possible cases being investigated, and it takes about a month to go through the CDC evaluation process. The CDC has not identified a germ that has been consistently found in every case of AFM, according to its website.

There is no treatment other than managing each patient's symptoms. However, it recommends practicing disease prevention measures, including staying up-to-date on vaccines and protecting yourself from mosquito bites. Since 2015, four cases reviewed by CDC experts have been counted in IL.

"The CDC has acknowledged that 362 cases of AFM have been reported since 2014, indicating an increasing infection rate". There were about 15 cases reported in August 2018. One hundred forty-nine cases were reported in 39 states in 2016 and 22 cases in 17 states in 2015.

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