Six children in Minnesota have been diagnosed with a rare "polio-like" disease since mid-September, state health officials said.
Acute flaccid myelitis, known as AFM, affects the body's nervous system -- specifically, the spinal cord -- and can cause paralysis. Unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM.
Minnesota typically sees less than one case a year, the state Department of Health reported. The disease typically affects children; all the recent cases in Minnesota were in children younger than 10.
AFM can develop from a viral infection, although its exact cause is unknown. Symptoms include limb weakness, facial drooping and trouble swallowing or talking. Doctors stress the importance of recognizing the early signs of AFM and seeking care as soon as possible.