Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) (Acute Flaccid Paralysis) - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition. CDC began tracking AFM in 2014. Since then, AFM cases have followed a seasonal and biennial pattern, spiking between August and October every other year. However, cases can occur year round.

Since surveillance for AFM began in 2014, Minnesota has seen between 0 and 11 cases per year. We work closely with health care providers and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to gather information on all cases.


Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken. AFM can be caused by a variety of germs (including viruses), environmental factors and genetics.


Symptoms of AFM sometimes follow a viral illness and can include:

  • Sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs
  • Neck weakness
  • Some other symptoms that patients may have include drooping eyelids or a facial droop, and difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

Contact your health care provider as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms in your child, for example if your child is not using their arm or leg normally.

What you can do

Take these basic steps to help keep you and your family healthy:

  • Wash hands frequently to limit exposure to germs
  • Cover coughs or sneezes
  • Stay home when sick
  • Make sure you and your family are up to date on vaccinations
  • Take steps to prevent mosquito bites

More information on AFM

Health Care Providers

Updated Tuesday, 19-Apr-2022 13:43:14 CDT