The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is warning about a rare mysterious illness affecting American children, which can cause "polio-like" symptoms.
"Numbness or tingling is rare in people with AFM, although some people have pain in their arms or legs". "What we do is a medication called immunoglobulins, and that's to decrease the inflammation that happens in the nerves and in the spinal cord". It causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to weaken and can even cause paralysis.
Many local cases have been treated at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
According to the CDC, the number of patients with AFM symptoms increases each year in August and September.
The CDC says it seems to be following an every other year pattern that emerges in the fall. The pattern appears to be repeating this year.
About 120 confirmed cases were reported in 2014.
In some individuals, health officials have determined that the condition was from infection with a type of virus that causes severe respiratory illness.
"We have not been able to identify a cause for the majority of these cases", said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
About 90 percent of the cases are children who have suffered muscle weakness or paralysis.
According to the CDC, there's been a mild uptick in the number of AFM cases in the country since 2014. "It is important that tests are done as soon as possible after someone develops symptoms".
Doctors with the CDC said, though the rise of cases is concerning and the illness alarming, the risk of contraction is less than one in a million. Some patients will also experience facial weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids or slurred speech.
"She tells me, 'Mommy, I want to get down, ' or 'Hold me.' I can't", Faircloth said.
As far as prevention, doctors recommend the polio vaccine but also say to practice good hygiene. Neurologists may suggest treatments on a case-by-case basis.
But, if their child is diagnosed, parents should prepare for extensive physical therapy - therapy that isn't always covered by insurance, he said. "Unfortunately, there are no real treatments that have been proven to work, but early rehabilitation has been shown to help". In some cases, patients recover quickly.
What can be done to prevent AFM?
"Very healthy, just, like, running around doing anything, getting into everything and then just 'bam.' It was so fast, '" Faircloth said.
Parents are urged to have their children take basic precautions, such as washing hands and using insect spray to ward off mosquito bites.