A young life was claimed recently due to the mysterious disease which appears as polio-like and seems to be spreading throughout the United States faster than ever before.
Parents Marijo de Guzman and Jose Ramirez of Bellingham, Washington, both believed that it was a simple stomach ache in which their young boy was suffering from. They quickly discovered that it was far worse.
Young Daniel, 6-years-old, was brought to the Seattle Children’s Hospital. He now was experiencing pain in his leg. Incontinence, dribbling, and a garbled speech were some of the other issues he was having.
It turned out to be AFM which stands for acute flaccid myelitis which is a rare disease, but tests showed that indeed this is what the boy had contracted.
Sadly, within the time period of October 21 and October 27, the boy suffered two strokes. Then the virus had gone too far and doctors simply could not manage it.
He was pronounced brain dead on October 30.
Five others with this disease at the same hospital have been released, while two more still remain in the hospital.
First recognized in 2014, the virus had paralyzed more than 120 children.
Here’s how the CDC describes AFM:
“Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare illness that anyone can get. It affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. AFM can result from a variety of causes, including viral infections.”
While symptoms can be similar to that of a common cold, they can quickly worsen within days to a very dramatic state of the child becoming paralyzed. In order to breathe, kids will end up needing a ventilator.
Apparently there are no causes, nor treatments, known to combat this virus, and there is grave concern that the outbreak for this year could be worse than previous years.
Here’s what Dr. Teri Schreiner of the Children’s Hospital Of Colorado had to say:
“My concern is that we are seeing a trend now in 2016 that mirrors what we saw in 2014.”
The mother of McKenzie Andersen, also 6, was diagnosed with the disease in 2014. She talked about the effects it had on her child:
“Within 12 days she was paralyzed from the neck down, on a ventilator to breathe for her. She was left with her left hand and her feet and toes that move. How do you ever wrap your brain around the fact that she got a cold, and now she’s a quadriplegic on a ventilator? It’s a nightmare you never wake up from.”
Very disturbing and no doubt a major concern for parents if this virus indeed does become worse.