The average age of patients confirmed to have the condition is just 4 years old, and more than 90 percent of cases overall occur in children age 18 and younger, according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
The disease, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a sub-type of another rare but serious neurological illness called acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), according to Dr. Adam Kassam, a senior resident physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Western University.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been 386 cases nationwide since 2014.
The condition affects the nervous system and affects fewer than 1 million people a year.
Dr. Vogel also noted most of the reported cases in the U.S.so far have been in the northern regions of the country while the CDC reports cases worldwide.
The CDC is actively investigating the recent cases and monitoring the disease's activities, as well as working closely with health care providers and health departments to increase awareness. Midwest states make up 40 percent of all confirmed cases including IL with 10 confirmed cases.
Despite the similarity in symptoms, all AFM cases have tested negative for poliovirus.
While AFM most often appears as a complication of a viral infection and the virus itself may be contagious, AFM itself does not appear to be contagious.
"If we don't know what causes it, we don't know how to treat it", Dr. Vogel said. "When you are talking about infants and toddlers they are not fully immune competent", Rohde says.
"It's likely to be caused by viruses sometimes it's kind of a subsequent thing after a virus".
Bhargava says parents should aware of the symptoms, but not overly concerned.
While they have yet to confirm a source for the paralysis-inducing illness, doctors believe that all signs point to a virus. The CDC is also exploring environmental toxins or genetic factors as a possibility.
"These 62 confirmed cases are among the total of 155 reports that CDC received of patients under investigation (PUIs)", the CDC said.
Sutfin says parents should protect their children against mosquito bites, and make sure they are up to date on their vaccines, as well as encourage frequent handwashing.