The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning parents about a life-threatening neurological disease that affects children. Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, begins as a common cold and can develop into respiratory problems and sudden limb weakness. According to the CDC, the United States could see an outbreak of AFM in the fall. With a possible outbreak on the horizon, one Iowa family hopes their story opens others’ eyes.In 2018, Camden Stravers suddenly lost the ability to hold his head up, use his right arm or walk. Doctors diagnosed Camden with AFM — something his mother says he continues to have complications from.“He still has definitely a risk of falling and then not being able to support himself,” said Kelli Stravers, Camden’s mother.According to the CDC, cases of AFM spike every two years.“We are in the peak season of AFM occurrences starting to happen if we trend normally,” Kelli Stravers said.Pediatric critical care physician Dr. Jessica Zuzga-Reed encourages parents to watch for AFM symptoms in their children, which can be similar to the flu and COVID-19.“Usually, these symptoms are not necessarily subtle,” Zuzga-Reed said. “I think any parent would notice that their child is demonstrating symptoms of weakness in one area.”AFM cases are reported 12 states currently.There is no cure for AFM but getting to the hospital quickly is critical. Kelli Stravers said Camden has made huge strides since his diagnosis but still struggles with arm and neck control. Camden receives physical therapy three times per week and recently received nerve replacement surgery to be able to bend his arm again.“It is a true medical emergency, and people need to take it seriously and take their kids to the hospital,” Kelli Stravers said. Additional information and resources for AFM can be found on the Acute Flaccid Myelitis Association website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning parents about a life-threatening neurological disease that affects children.

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Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, begins as a common cold and can develop into respiratory problems and sudden limb weakness.

According to the CDC, the United States could see an outbreak of AFM in the fall.

With a possible outbreak on the horizon, one Iowa family hopes their story opens others’ eyes.

In 2018, Camden Stravers suddenly lost the ability to hold his head up, use his right arm or walk.

Doctors diagnosed Camden with AFM — something his mother says he continues to have complications from.

“He still has definitely a risk of falling and then not being able to support himself,” said Kelli Stravers, Camden’s mother.

According to the CDC, cases of AFM spike every two years.

“We are in the peak season of AFM occurrences starting to happen if we trend normally,” Kelli Stravers said.

Pediatric critical care physician Dr. Jessica Zuzga-Reed encourages parents to watch for AFM symptoms in their children, which can be similar to the flu and COVID-19.

“Usually, these symptoms are not necessarily subtle,” Zuzga-Reed said. “I think any parent would notice that their child is demonstrating symptoms of weakness in one area.”

AFM cases are reported 12 states currently.

There is no cure for AFM but getting to the hospital quickly is critical.

Kelli Stravers said Camden has made huge strides since his diagnosis but still struggles with arm and neck control.

Camden receives physical therapy three times per week and recently received nerve replacement surgery to be able to bend his arm again.

“It is a true medical emergency, and people need to take it seriously and take their kids to the hospital,” Kelli Stravers said.

Additional information and resources for AFM can be found on the Acute Flaccid Myelitis Association website.

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