Acute flaccid myelitis: Why is mysterious polio-like illness afflicting children so badly?


The mysterious polio-like disease that may be afflicting three children in Pittsburgh and others in Minnesota is raising a lot of concern.

>> Watch the news report here

Pittsburgh's WPXI sat down with Dr. Jennifer Preiss from the Allegheny Health Network to talk about acute flaccid myelitis, also known as AFM.

>> On WPXI.com: 3 children possibly suffering from polio-like disease being treated at Children's Hospital

“It’s bringing back a lot of hysteria, and if you knew anyone who lived during the polio time, there was a lot of hysteria about polio,” Preiss said. “Most of the time, everyone gets better and everyone is fine, but in these rare cases, there is some immune response that is attacking the muscles of these children.”

The Centers for Disease Control doesn’t know the exact cause of this virus that starts as a cold but then attacks the nervous system, causing different forms of paralysis.

Preiss says a lot is dependent on how a person’s immune system responds to this particular virus.

>> Read more trending news 

“Some of the time, when people get viruses – and I’m not even speaking about this particular virus – bad things happen because we have these hyper-immune systems, and some of these hyper-immune system responses are what causes the paralysis,” she said.

The CDC is now looking at the samples taken from the children at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

It will be several weeks before we know if the virus strain in Pittsburgh is the same as the virus in Minnesota that’s affected six kids and made national headlines.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Xenia house offers help for women struggling with addiction
Xenia house offers help for women struggling with addiction

Women looking for treatment to drug or alcohol addiction have a new option in Xenia with Her Story, a nonprofit organization that provides housing for those waiting to get into recovery. Three women are currently residing in the home, which was opened in late August, and calls are coming in daily, according to Her Story’s founder and president...
Woman hospitalized after stabbing at Dayton home
Woman hospitalized after stabbing at Dayton home

Police are investigating after a woman was stabbed inside a Dayton home Wednesday morning.  Officers and medics responded to the report around 10:15 a.m. at the home in the 1200 block of Canfield Avenue.  The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment, but her condition was not immediately known.  Homicide detectives have...
Crews battle house fire on East High Street in Springfield
Crews battle house fire on East High Street in Springfield

Six of the units in the building suffered heavy smoke damage, and the fire spread to the attic, officials said, noting that the tenants won’t be able to staying in their apartments tonight. There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Firefighters are battling a house fire on East High Street in Springfield...
3 reasons to be a part of beloved Dayton Halloween tradition — the Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow
3 reasons to be a part of beloved Dayton Halloween tradition — the Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow

One of Dayton’s most cherished Halloween traditions, The Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow, is right around the corner. This means that Dayton will soon be basking in the glow of hundreds (if not more) of beautifully carved pumpkins near the Dayton Art Institute and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on Oct. 30-31. The Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow...
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED MONDAY INCLUDED: Tiann T. Burton, 19, of 1013 Pine St., burglary, kidnapping, dismissed - prosecutor request. Jessica L. Fenwick, 28, of 1018 Middle St., possession of drug abuse instrument, guilty, 11 days jail; tamper with evidence, dismissed - prosecutor request. Dashawn L. Jackson, 19, of 301 Selma Road, Rear, complicity to receiving...
More Stories