Health officials said all the cases have come up in northern IL, and at least two of the children have been treated at Lurie Children's Hospital. All the recent cases in Minnesota were in children under the age of 10.
It's not a new condition, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the increase is not normal. Lurie Children's Hospital has treated at least two of the children diagnosed with AFM, but it had not received any additional AFM patients as of Friday. Medical experts have said AFM itself is not believed to be contagious, but the causes of it could be.
Various viruses can cause AFM, including West Nile and enteroviruses. They had symptoms of a respiratory illness in the week before developing symptoms of AFM.
Officials liken the disease to Polio.
The condition attacks the nervous system and can lead to arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle reflexes.
A growing number of cases are being reported across the country.
An Illinois Department of Public Health statement said they are working with doctors to collect information on the nine cases reported.
All told, 16 states have confirmed a total of 38 cases of acute flaccid myelitis in 2018. "Since 2015, four cases reviewed by CDC experts have been counted in IL", the IDHP stated.