A mysterious, polio-like disease that is wreaking havoc across the U.S. has claimed another young life.
Marijo de Guzman and Jose Ramirez of Bellingham, Washington, initially thought their son had a stomach ache but soon found out it was much more serious than that.
On Oct. 15, Daniel Ramirez, 6, was admitted to Seattle Children’s Hospital with pain in his leg, incontinence, dribbling, and garbled speech.
Tests revealed that the 6-year-old had contracted a rare disease called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM).
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According to the Praying for Daniel Ramirez Facebook page, his family shared that Daniel had suffered two strokes between Oct. 21 and Oct. 27.
The virus had progressed too far for doctors manage and he was pronounced brain dead Oct. 30. Daniel was kept on a ventilator until the next day, when doctors pronounced his death.
Daniel was one of eight children diagnosed with AFM admitted to the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Five have been released, but two are still being hospitalized, according to Daily Mail.
The virus was first recognized in 2014 when more than 120 kids were paralyzed from the disease.
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According to the CDC, “Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare illness that anyone can get. It affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord. AFM can result from a variety of causes, including viral infections.”
Symptoms are similar to a common cold and can worsen dramatically, leaving the child’s body paralyzed within days. Young victims of AFM also need a ventilator to breathe.
According to scientists, there are currently no known causes or treatments for the virus. Medical experts are concerned this year’s outbreak could be worse than previous ones.
“My concern is that we are seeing a trend now in 2016 that mirrors what we saw in 2014,” Dr. Teri Schreiner of the Children's Hospital Of Colorado told NBC News.
McKenzie Andersen was also 6 years old when she was diagnosed with the disease in 2014.
“Within 12 days she was paralyzed from the neck down, on a ventilator to breathe for her. She was left with her left hand and her feet and toes that move,” her mother told The Washington Post.
“How do you ever wrap your brain around the fact that she got a cold, and now she's a quadriplegic on a ventilator? It's a nightmare you never wake up from.”