Rare illness on the rise among children | KOB 4
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Rare illness on the rise among children

Meg Hilling
October 09, 2018 08:45 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - When three-year-old Kiko Violante came down with a runny nose and a cough in 2016, his parents thought it was strep throat.

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"He was starting to get a little bit of a fever, but nothing out of the ordinary," Laura Violante, Kiko’s mother.

But then, Kiko began to lose movement in his shoulder and neck.

"He couldn't walk. He couldn't turn his head. And so my husband and I decided to to take him to the emergency room," Violante said.

Kiko was diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. Two years later, he still requires a ventilator at night.

"He is doing really well now. We’ve come a long long way from him not being able to move anything from the neck down to now he is able to run his wheelchair by himself," Violante said.

According to the CDC, AFM is on the rise right now, with nearly 40 cases this year.

The CDC says there's limited information about what causes it. but parents can protect their children.

"Real the biggest thing to kill viruses is hand washing. Lots of handwashing. And now we are in the winter months, were people are indoors a lot together and that's why you see these viruses get spread more," Sacheen Naddy, a pediatric nurse practioner at High Desert Pediatrics.

AFM is difficult to diagnose and could require a spinal tap or an MRI.

"I think as a community if we just watch out and make sure that if we see something that is happening with a child that causes a red flag, get that child to the emergency room," Violante said.

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Meg Hilling

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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