A brand new and mysterious illness is being blamed for paralyzing people across the United States, which is baffling doctors.
A new report just recently released from the Center for Disease and Control highlights cases now being reported in Arizona.
The illness, known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, was first discovered back in early 2014. It is considered by scientists to be incredibly rare.
Researchers say that it only affects around one in one million people, however since the virus was first discovered, the number of cases has been on the rise all across the United States, with a total of 295 cases have now been confirmed.
The Arizona Department of Health Services itself says that 11 total cases have been confirmed through extensive testing across the state of Arizona in 2016.
"AFM or Acute Flaccid Myelitis can look a little bit like Polio,” said Jessica Rigler, who's the Epidemiology Bureau Chief for the Arizona Department of Health Services. “It can cause some paralysis, but it's not the same disease here. We're talking about a totally different animal."
AFM is targeting children especially hard, even though anyone at any age can develop it. The disease is told to have started with a common cold, and then after it begins to affect a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord region.
Doctor's say that AFM can paralyze the arms, legs, face, and neck entirely, and also has been linked to other serious complications by health officials.
"For families that are impacted by this unfortunate syndrome, it really is a terrible and scary thing for them because they're watching their children experiencing some pretty severe symptoms,” said Rigler.
Those officials in the health department say they have admit they don’t know much about AFM, and at this time there is no known cause or cure or any idea how it's even transmitted.
Doctors do the way that most patients who develop symptoms of AFM usually make a partial or full recovery after several months of suffering.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has also instructed its hospitals and health care providers to alert the organization to any patients who may be experiencing AFM symptoms in order for them to better ascertain the causes.
Medical experts say that using good hygiene procedures such as covering coughs and sneezes as well as keeping up-to-date with vaccinations are urged by the Department of Health as a preventative measure just in case.