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Rare illness found in Michigan child

Posted at 3:20 PM, Jul 27, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — The first Michigan case of a rare condition was reported for 2020, the state Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release Monday.

A Macomb County child, whose age was not given, was confirmed to have acute flaccid myelitis.

“AFM is a rare but serious condition affecting the nervous system and can cause the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, said. “Most patients report having a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM.”

The cause of the condition isn’t known. Most kids who get it had a respiratory illness or fever similar to a viral infection before contracting AFM.

The MDHHS recommended common virus-fighting techniques such as hand washing, avoiding touching the face and avoiding close contact with sick people.

There were 13 cases across 10 states so far this year. They were mostly children.

Less than one to two in 1 million children get AFM every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, Michigan had one case.

For more information, go to the MDHHS Communicable Disease Information and Resources website or

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