When six-year-old Daniel Ramirez’s family recently brought him to Seattle Children’s Hospital on October 15, he showcased bizarre symptoms like slurred speech, drooling, incontinence, and pain in his leg. At first, they thought he just had a stomach ache, but his symptoms quickly got worse.
There, Ramirez’s family learned he had contracted acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a virus that targets the brain and spinal cord.
AFM causes a fever which often leads to paralysis in children, and over 100 children were infected in 2014.
The Daily Mail quotes Dr. Avindra Nath, chief in charge of studying infections affecting the nervous system at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, as saying, “You hate to be an alarmist, but there’s reason to have some concern. What we don’t know is where are these cases. Are they clustered? Do they all look alike? Getting more information on these cases would be helpful.”