One confirmed case of polio-like virus in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Health says it has one confirmed case of a polio-like virus in Ohio this year.  The virus is called acute flaccid myelitis.

University Hospitals confirms they have treated two likely cases of AFM, but they do expect the patients to recover.

They are currently treating a possible third case.

UH is still waiting for the CDC to officially confirm the cases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of 127 patients under investigation for acute flaccid myelitis.

Acute flaccid myelitis, also called AFM, is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system and causes the muscles and reflexes to suddenly become weak. Specifically, the disease affects the area of the spinal cord called gray matter. Because the symptoms are similar, AFM is often confused with polio, a crippling and potentially fatal disease that is caused by a virus.

The average age of the patients in all confirmed cases over the past five years is just 4 years old, and more than 90% of the cases overall occur in children 18 and younger, according to analysis of cases reported in recent years. Though AFM has not claimed any lives this year, there was one death in 2017.

Doctors don’t know what has caused the cases or the increase in cases nationwide.

Stay with Fox 8 for continuing coverage on the mystery illness.

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