Five Washington children hospitalized with sudden paralysis

Health officials are "investigating six cases of suspected AFM" in the state as of Tuesday, Minnesota Department of Health spokesman Doug Schultz told Fox News. Four of the five had fever of 100.4 F or greater.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said there have been 38 confirmed cases of AFM this year through the end of September.

The children live in King, Pierce, Lewis and Snohomish counties. Her pediatric intensive care doctor says the road to recovery will be a long one with much physical therapy.

"Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place, and we are working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions", Kunicky said.

AFM typically affects young children and creates polio-like symptoms.

"They may have a little bit of a facial droop similar to what we see with a bell's palsy because those muscles are affected". Some people with AFM may be unable to urinate. Adults have likely been exposed to the virus that causes this and have some sort of immunity. Dr. Meade said sometimes people recover from the paralysis, but others don't recover even after several years.

There was a national uptick in AFM cases in 2014.

It resembles polio, but unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM.

The CDC says it got information on 362 cases of the illness in the USA from August 2014 through August 2018. Three cases were reported in 2017, and one other case was reported in Washington since the beginning of 2018.

The health department says there are no specific recommendations for avoiding AFM, but washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, and staying up-to-date on immunizations is recommended.