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Polio-like disease on the rise in Minnesota

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FARGO - In Minnesota, there's been an unusual uptick in a rare disorder, somewhat similar to polio.

Doctors are particularly concerned because there is no cure.

In the past, Minnesota may only see one case in a year. In the past four weeks, however, 6 children have been diagnosed with the disease, known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis. It's also known as 'AFM.'

Symptoms include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing.

In the Red River Valley, doctors have been looking out for the signs and symptoms since the disease first appeared in 2014.

"We've been vigilant," Sanford Health Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Clifford Mauriello said. "The CDC has been asking us to pay attention to this for quite a while."

Dr. Mauriello believes he saw a case for himself in 2015, but no confirmed cases have been identified in North Dakota this year.

Right now, there is no cure for the disease and little is known about it.

"It's something that we want to learn more about," Dr. Mauriello said. " We want to be better to better understand the epidemiology of the disease."

While there is no cure, health experts say you should take preventative measures including washing your hands or coughing into your elbow.

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