BISMARCK - North Dakota is investigating whether a child has a rare polio-like illness.
The state Department of Health announced Wednesday. Oct. 17, it has received a report of a child who may have acute flaccid myelitis. If confirmed, it would be the first case of AFM reported in North Dakota.
The virus has been confirmed for 62 cases in 22 states, including seven in Minnesota, according to media reports. AFM mainly affects children, and symptoms include muscle weakness in the arms and legs, respiratory illness, neck weakness and stiffness, drooping eyelids, facial drooping, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, the Health Department said.
There is no specific treatment.
"AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken," the North Dakota Health Department said. "It can follow a viral infection, but environmental and genetic factors may also contribute to its development."
Health experts are working to gather information on the North Dakota case, but confirmation could take weeks.
"Potential symptoms of AFM - for example, if someone is not using an arm- should be reported to the individual's health care provider as soon as possible," the Health Department said. "It is important that tests are done as soon as possible after someone develops symptoms."