Transcript for Polio-like illness afflicting kids in clusters
Down to that "Gma" health alert. We are seeing more cases of that rare illness with polio-like symptoms called afm. There are cases in more than a dozen states and erielle reshef has the latest. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. Doctors say they are working to figure out what's causing this rare illness to spread and how to treat it. It's still a mystery why cases of afm are reported in at least 16 state, mostly in children. This morning, concern mounting over this the spread of that baffling illness primarily affecting children. Our best evidence so far since 2014 has shown that every other year there are outbreaks of acute flaccid myelitis that tend to get recognized in the larger metropolitan areas. Reporter: More than three dozen reported cases of acute flaccid myelitis or afm in at least 16 states. Some still awaiting CDC confirmation. Georgia, New Jersey, Texas and Arizona joining the states already reporting the condition. The CDC says afm presents like polio or west nile and may look like a common cold or trend but according to doctors, it can quickly attack the spinal cord, causing paralysis in the arms and legs, facial drooping and trouble swallowing. Right now my son is unable to walk. Reporter: 5-year-old Joshua was diagnosed earlier this year. It got to the point where he was unable to lift his head. Reporter: And Braden Scott's mother said at first she thought he had strep or mono when he came down with afm two years ago. The paralysis had reached his diagram and stopped breathing altogether. Reporter: The cause of the disease progression and reason for the recent uptick still unknown but doctors stress afm is extremely rare. Every time my kids get a common cold I have to remind myself that it's just a cold and most likely nothing bad is going to happen. Reporter: While there's no cure, Joshua's mother is holding out hope her son will beat the odds. I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful. I feel like if we get any type of funding to do a lot more research in acute flaccid myelitis, I think we'll be saving a lot of kids down the line. Reporter: And experts are urging parents to get help quickly if you notice symptoms like sudden weakness of limb, headaches or trouble breathing, doctors are testing different treatments and they tell us, whit, with physical therapy they may be able to regain some full mobility. Good information for parents. Erielle, thank you.
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