First Case in 2018 of Child With Virus Similar to Polio Reported in Florida

What to Know

  • Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville said the three year old named Aamira was discovered to have acute flaccid myelitis.

A North Florida hospital has confirmed the first case in 2018 of a rare illness in the state that has been compared to polio.

In a Facebook post Wednesday calling the diagnosis "one in a million," Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville said the three-year-old named Aamira was discovered to have acute flaccid myelitis – an extremely rare condition in which reflexes and muscles become weak and can cause paralysis.

"I've had my breakdown moments, just crying my eyes out and thinking what's going to happen next, if it's going to be good or bad, but in this situation it's hard to even think about it," mother Reba Faircloth said.

Officials from the hospital say that AFM is not contagious while the Centers for Disease Control recommends parents take their child to the doctor if they experience sudden weakness or tone loss in their arms and legs.

NBC station WTLV-TV reports another child was diagnosed with the virus in 2016.

The cause of AFM is unknown, but parents are recommended to protect children with steps like washing their hands and staying up to date with immunizations as well as other measures.

From 2014 to 2018, almost 400 cases were reported in America with most occurring in children, according to the CDC.

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