Symptoms of AFM
- AFM is a rare but serious neurologic condition. Sudden onset of arm or leg weakness, loss of muscle tone, and loss of reflexes are the most common symptoms.
- Seek medical care right away if you or your child develops any of these symptoms.
Most people will have sudden onset of:
- Arm or leg weakness
- Loss of muscle tone and reflexes
Some people will also have:
- Facial droop or weakness
- Difficulty moving eyes
- Drooping eyelids
- Difficulty swallowing
- Slurred speech
- Pain in arms or legs
- Pain in neck or back
In rare cases, people may also:
- Have numbness or tingling
- Be unable to pass urine (pee)
The most severe symptoms of AFM are:
- Respiratory failure: This happens when the muscles involved with breathing become weak and can require a ventilator (a machine to help them breathe).
- Serious neurologic complications such as body temperature changes and blood pressure instability that could be life threatening.
Seek Medical Care Right Away
- If you or your child develops any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care right away.
- Clinicians should immediately admit patients to the hospital since AFM can progress rapidly and require urgent medical intervention, like assistance with breathing.
- Your clinicians should collect information about your symptoms and send this information to their state or local health departments.
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2020