SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 127 patients under investigation for Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a polio-like illness that mostly affects children.
The CDC has confirmed 62 cases of the rare but serious cases in 22 states. Those states include Georgia and South Carolina.
Savannah pediatricians said there are two important things to know about the disease. One, it is rare. Two, they don’t know what causes it.
Doctors currently do not have a treatment for AFM, but, if a child has symptoms, it’s important to get them to the doctor’s office.
Natalie Puljung is a mother of three kids younger than 5 years old who said she is also a little on edge when her children are sick.
“You’re always a little on edge and look for symptoms and thinking, ‘what’s going on with my kid? Are they OK?'” she said.
When Puljun heard a polio-like disease affecting young children across the country she said she was surprised.
“Whenever you hear anything about a disease and you have children, you’re concerned," she said.
Ben Spitalnick, a Savannah pediatrician, warned parents that paralysis is a symptom AFM. The following are all symptoms according Spitalnick: “paralysis, inability to use the arms and legs, extreme weakness, ... tingling."
Though there is no concrete treatment, physical therapy can sometimes help with the symptoms.
Spitalnick did have a some good news.
""It’s extremely rare, less than 1 in a million, and there have been no known cases in the Savannah area that we know of," he said. “It’s caused by a very common virus that all kids get at some point,and, in almost every case, does not cause this.”