For most of us, the word "polio" is only used when discussing the history of our nation. Thanks to an amazing medical breakthrough for most of us that disease is thought of like something from our past. Now there is a new threat that has been reported in more than 30 states across the nation. That threat has strikingly similar symptoms to polio.

The Centers for Disease Control says that acute flaccid myelitis or AFM for short has been confirmed in Louisiana. The symptoms of the disease include a loss of motor functions. There have been reports of temporary paralysis as well.

Other symptoms include slurred speech and drooping eyelids. The affected person may also have difficulty swallowing or complain of weakness in the arms and legs. Medical experts say the disease, so far, has been most prevalent in children which makes it an even greater concern.

The CDC does not have a confirmed the cause of the illness. There is speculation that the disease is a product of viruses or environmental toxins. Despite the lack of information on the disease, it is not new. Cases of AMF have been reported as far back as 2014. For some reason, cases of the disease appear to spike between the months of August and December.

While we don’t know the cause of most of the AFM cases, it’s always important to practice disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands, and protecting yourself from mosquito bites.

Those comments courtesy of the CDC were reported by WAFB TV.

Texas currently leads the nation with 14 reported cases of the illness. So far, Louisiana has only the one confirmed case that has been reported to health officials.

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