AFM in 22 states: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Health officials in Oklahoma say an Oklahoma child has been diagnosed with a polio-like illness that is sweeping the country.

US health officials on Tuesday reported a jump in cases of AFM.

ABC News Videos A girl recovers after contracting acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system and causes the body's muscles and reflexes to become weak.

So far across the county, 62 cases of the rare polio-like neurological condition have been reported.

The average age of patients with confirmed cases of AFM is 4 years old, according to the CDC. There is no specific treatment for the disorder.

But this illness is exceedingly rare, affecting fewer than one in a million people.

In addition to viruses, potential causes may include environmental toxins and genetic disorders, according to the CDC, and it "can be hard to diagnose because it shares numerous same symptoms as other neurologic diseases".

"We're looking really broadly at any possible cause", the CDC's Dr. Messonnier said, "so we're looking at anything that might be causing the AFM, because our earlier investigations haven't revealed the cause".

The illness affects the patient's spinal cord.

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The Department of Public Health has confirmed the second MA case this year of a rare but potentially devastating illness that strikes mostly children and causes muscle weakness or paralysis.

There were 120 cases in 2014 when the disease was first detected in the United States.

"We want to encourage parents to seek medical care right away if you or your child develops symptoms of AFM, such as sudden weakness and loss of muscle tone in your arms or legs", she said.

"The most common etiology is probably a viral infection that starts off the process, and there's probably several different viruses that can cause acute flaccid myelitis", said Dr. Samuel Dominguez, medical director of the clinical microbiology laboratory at Children's Hospital Colorado.

The CDC would not release a list of the states reporting probable or confirmed cases. It follows a peculiar seasonal pattern, with the highest incidence occurring every other year in late summer or fall.

Although symptoms resemble polio, no evidence of poliovirus has been found in specimens from any case diagnosed so far, Messonnier said.

"You see your child, who likes to run and play", she said.

According to the CDC, the most severe cases of AFM can lead to respiratory failure and even death.

People can protect themselves from contracting AFM using methods similar to preventing getting the flu, Ellerin said.

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