Two-year-old girl infected with polio-like disease

Written by Annie Coniglio, World News Writer

What started out as a little cold and cough transformed into a deadly disease. Two-year-old Julia Payne was diagnosed with a rare polio-like disease called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). She was first admitted into the hospital on September 5th for having symptoms of weakness. Now, Julia is being treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital for this life threatening disease.  

AFM is a disease that starts out as a cold and cough and progresses into a neurological illness which causes paralysis. When having this disease some of the symptoms are facial weakness, difficulty moving eyes, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech. Most patients with AFM have to go onto a ventilator because their lungs go into respiratory failure.

Not only is Julia being treated for this death defying virus, but six other children are also being treated in Minnesota. Doctors are perplexed as to what the source of this outbreak is. Sadly, there is no cure for AFM. Health officials claim the best solution is to continuously wash  hands.

Julia Payne is being transferred to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab for inpatient therapy. AFM has caused Julia to lose all of her muscle strength throughout her body. It is going to take many years for Julia to rehabilitate, but doctors believe that she is going to have a positive outcome.