COLORADO – Watching out for you and your family, there are concerns spreading across the country about a rare virus affecting children.
The virus called AFM can cause paralysis. There have been more than a dozen cases in Colorado, but none in El Paso or Pueblo counties.
So far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms 38 cases of AFM in 16 states across the country.
Of the 14 cases here in Colorado, 12 of the patients were treated at Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Dominguez of Children’s Hospital says the CDC started monitoring AFM after a respiratory illness outbreak in 2014.
“Typically they’ll have a respiratory illness, or they’ll have some respiratory symptoms and a fever. Then they might notice the kid is walking funny or weakness in their arms or leg. So as you can imagine that’s pretty scary for a parent to have a child who can’t move their arm or can’t move their legs,” explained Dr. Dominguez.
Cases of AFM are linked to viruses. The best way to protect against the illness is good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing, avoiding people who are sick, and staying home if you are ill to avoid spreading illnesses.