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The rare disease affects the nervous system, "specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak," according to the CDC. Symptoms include a facial droop, arm or leg weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids and difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. It appears to start off like a common cold, before victims eventually progress to paralysis.
The states Daily Mail Online is currently aware of with confirmed cases includes: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.
A press officer for the CDC told Daily Mail Online last week that the agency would not be naming the additional states where cases have been confirmed due to 'privacy issues'.