Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) (Acute Flaccid Paralysis) - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

We are investigating an increase in reported cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) that has occurred since mid-September 2018 in Minnesota children. There has also been an increase of cases nationally this fall. Minnesota typically sees at most one case of AFM per year.

AFM is a rare but serious condition. We are working closely with health care providers and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to get more information.

Minnesota cases as of Oct. 16, 2018: 7

MDH Media Statement: Statement on cases of acute flaccid myelitis
Oct. 5, 2018


Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken. AFM can be caused by a variety of germs (including viruses), environmental factors and genetics.


Symptoms of AFM sometimes follow a viral illness and can include:

  • Sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs
  • Neck weakness
  • Some other symptoms that patients may have include drooping eyelids or a facial droop, and difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

Contact your health care provider as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms in your child, for example if your child is not using their arm or leg normally.

What you can do

Take these basic steps to help keep you and your family healthy:

  • Wash hands frequently to limit exposure to germs
  • Cover coughs or sneezes
  • Stay home when sick
  • Make sure you and your family are up to date on vaccinations
  • Take steps to prevent mosquito bites

More information on AFM

Health Care Providers

Updated Wednesday, 17-Oct-2018 10:54:13 CDT