Health officials see a rise of Polio-like illness in Texas children

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SAN ANTONIO - Cases of a polio-like illness that affects young children are on the rise across the country.

Several cases have been reported here in Texas.

RELATED: Polio-like illness affecting children reaches 186 confirmed cases in 39 states

The disease is called Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM for short.

It's not a new condition, but cases are on the rise and researchers are trying to figure out why.

AFM first starts as a fever with respiratory illness 3 to 10 days before the patient's limbs get weak. Something in the body, which researchers still don't know exactly what it is, triggers AFM to affect the nervous system, leading to weak limbs and possible paralysis.

The disease used to be associated with the polio virus, but that's changed over the past few years.

Statewide, there were 27 cases of AFM last year. According to Metro Health, none of those cases were in Bexar County. The last confirmed case in Bexar County was in 2017.

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