Shreveport discusses peak in AFM cases

Shreveport discusses peak in AFM cases
(Whittington, Maranda)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - As of this week the polio-like illness called Acute Flaccid Myelitis has been confirmed 134 cases in 33 states, including Louisiana according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

KSLA reached out to the CDC and the Louisiana Health Department and for privacy reasons officials with the health department won’t release exactly where in the state this case took place or the age of the person.

Shreveport discusses peak in AFM cases

They did confirm the case did not happen in Northwest Louisiana.

Symptoms of AFM are difficulty moving the eyes or drooping eyelids, facial droop or sudden arm or leg weakness and difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech.

These symptoms typically occur in children and 90% of the cases confirmed by the CDC have been in children younger than four years old.

Dr. Vanchiere is the Chief of Pediatrics & Infectious Diseases at LSU Health Shreveport and says so far they have cared for three children with suspected cases of AFM.

“Two of those children had near complete recovery, but not 100 percent,” he said. “One is in longer term rehab to really re-learn that muscle memory and hopefully will gain more function over time.”

Vanchiere says these three children came from different parts of Northwest Louisiana and didn’t know each other.

He says parents should notice their child’s behavior when it comes to them using their arms or legs, if they are sick cough or sneeze into their arms, was their hands routinely and get their flu shots.

Right now there is no cure and no antivirals to treat AFM, but scientists and those at the CDC are working to find ways to treat this illness.

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