The hospital is now working with the health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to administer testing to confirm if the child does indeed have AFM. They had symptoms of a respiratory illness in the week before developing symptoms of AFM.
"We have 41 cases of children who have had some sort of illness of enterovirus A71, which is causing a wide spectrum of neurological illness", Herlihy said.
There are several ways people can contract AFM, including exposure to toxins in the air, genetic factors or through viruses such as poliovirus, non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus and Saint Louis encephalitis virus, according to the agency.
Other states have also reported cases.
With hope, further investigation will address this unnerving uptick in AFM cases, preventing even more little ones from suffering around the country.
"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health. It attacks the nervous system and can lead to arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle reflexes.
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Between August 2014 and August 2018, the CDC received information on a total of 362 confirmed cases of AFM nationwide.
With research, doctors are trying to figure out if AFM is coming from the same enterovirus family, but not every child diagnosed with AFM has the virus. The cause of any individual case of AFM can be hard to determine, and often, no cause is found. CDC specialists will make the final determination if these cases are AFM.
Since 2015, when IL began monitoring reports of AFM in the state, four confirmed cases have been identified.
Doctors call severe cases of AFM a polio-like illness where people will have paralyzed limbs.
The condition is rare, with only 1 in 1 million people in the United States contracting the disease, according to the CDC.
In 2017, 33 cases were reported in 16 states. However, it recommends practicing disease prevention measures, including staying up-to-date on vaccines and protecting yourself from mosquito bites.