Texas seeing cases of rare, polio-like illness

A polio-like illness that's been appearing around the country has now popped up in North Texas.

Most children affected by the virus that causes Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM will only appear to be suffering from a common cold. But some develop weakness and paralysis of arms and legs. Doctors say parents should be on the lookout for weakness, loss of muscle tone, facial droop, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech and, in severe cases, paralysis.

Eight confirmed or probable cases have been reported in the northern part of the state. Officials in Minnesota say they have seen six cases. Nine patients were reportedly diagnosed recently in Illinois, five cases in Washington state, and a single case was confirmed in Wisconsin.

Health officials say that most major metropolitan areas have seen a clustering of AFM cases every other year since 2014. There is no cure or really effective treatment, but most victims eventually recover.

Doctors advise using good hygiene to prevent spreading or contracting any virus - wash hands frequently, cough or sneeze into an elbow, and stay home from work or school when ill.

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