Doctors at Oishei Children's Hospital treating a 'highly suspected' case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Doctors at Oishei Children's Hospital a treating a patient with a “highly suspected” case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM.

A Kaleida Health spokesperson confirmed the suspected case of the rare, but serious, polio-like syndrome. It can develop from a viral infection, although its exact cause is unknown.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, AFM affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing weakness or even paralysis in the arms or legs.

Krystal Toporczyk tells 7 Eyewitness News her 3-year-old son Kameron has been diagnosed with AFM by doctors at Oishei Children's Hospital. The family from Sloan has been in and out of the hospital the past two weeks and now, the boy is unable to walk.

Dr. Mark Hicar is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Oishei and he has been treating Kameron. On Monday, he told reporters the boy is in relatively good health but has plateaued after some initial improvements in his leg function.

"These cases are confusing because of the rarity of the cases and we don't have a lot of research," Dr. Hicar explained. "AFM never spreads person to person. It is a rare reaction to a common viral infection. So I am sure the virus that he had early in September was being spread probably around his school or in daycare."

Kameron will remain at Oishei for the next 10 days, after which he will continue outpatient treatments and physical therapy.

A spokesperson from Oishei said the hospital has completed its own testing for AFM, but has sent samples to the CDC for the agency to conduct further tests.

Since August 2014, CDC has seen an increased number of people across the United States with AFM. And in the past week, multiple cases have appeared all over the country.

The CDC recommends parents follow traditional methods to prevent any kind of disease including having children wash their hands regularly and staying up to date on immunizations.

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