Eight of nine children hospitalized in Washington state for a polio-like illness have a rare syndrome that causes varying degrees of limb weakness, state health officials confirmed on Friday.
The eight cases from five counties in the state were determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be acute flaccid myelitis, also known as AFM, which affects the nervous system and specifically the spinal cord.
A ninth child who died this week at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a 6-year-old boy from Bellingham, was found not to have the syndrome, and officials are still investigating his cause of death, Washington State Department of Health spokeswoman Julie Graham told The Associated Press.
Health officials said they haven’t found a common link between the children that could explain the cluster of cases. Doctors have emphasized that the syndrome is not contagious.