Top Stories

3 children possibly suffering from polio-like disease being treated at Children's Hospital

PITTSBURGH — A mysterious illness that is partially paralyzing children has struck in Pittsburgh.

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC confirmed to Channel 11 on Tuesday that three children suspected to be suffering from acute flaccid myelitis, or "AFM," are being treated there.

"The patients are currently undergoing diagnostic procedures and treatment," the hospital said in a statement. "Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place and we're working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions."


The disease is raising some serious red flags with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers.

Minnesota's health department has reported six cases of the illness, which is similar to polio, since last month.

The CDC says it starts as a common cold, but later partially paralyzes children.

"This is a very uncommon complication of a virus so many people may be infected but very few maybe get this rare neurologic complication," said Dr. Kevin Kevin Messacar at the Children's Hospital of Colorado.

"Weakness in your arms and in your legs, slurred speech, and facial drooping," Dr. Janette Nesheiwat said.

She said anyone with symptoms should see a doctor right away.

Right now, there is no cure for the illness.

"We were definitely in that place of not knowing where it was going to stop or how bad it was going to get," said Michael Young, who lives in Minnesota and is the father of a 4-year-old son diagnosed with AFM.

"It's just been so sad. I'm part of a Facebook group, and every morning I would see a new case and just start crying," said Elaine Young, the boy's mom

Users of the WPXI News App were the first to know about this story. Click here to learn more and download the app for your Android or iPhone.