"In addition to investigating the outbreak, the state health department has issued alerts to health care providers on how to test for the viruses and enhanced guidance to child care centers on infection prevention". They had symptoms of a respiratory illness in the week before developing symptoms of AFM.
Like many children, Julia Payne, the toddler at Lurie, started to show signs of weakness and problems breathing on her own after a prolonged cold, said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, the medical director for Lurie's pediatric intensive care unit.
The condition targets the spinal cord area that directly affects a person's muscles.
Doctors are warning that a mysterious and paralyzing child illness similar to polio has spread to Chicago. An additional possible case of AFM was reported out of Skagit County on Thursday.
With hope, further investigation will address this unnerving uptick in AFM cases, preventing even more little ones from suffering around the country.
"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health, said.
Symptoms include drooping face and eyelids, difficulty moving eyes and swallowing, and slurred speech.
The doctor says there is no need to panic and there's no vaccine for the disease. From August 2014 through August 2018, the CDC has been notified of 362 cases of the illness, mostly in children.
With research, doctors are trying to figure out if AFM is coming from the same enterovirus family, but not every child diagnosed with AFM has the virus.
Nine cases of AFM were reported in Washington state in 2016.
The cause of AFM, and the reason for the rise in cases starting in 2014, is not known.
The condition is still very rare, occurring in fewer than one in a million people in the US each year, the CDC says.
The health department says there are no specific recommendations for avoiding AFM, but washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, and staying up-to-date on immunizations is recommended.