The puzzling condition, known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis, causes partial paralysis in children and bears a striking resemblance to polio.
The Washington Department of Health said Wednesday that the children are 6 or younger.
Parents are encouraged to consult a doctor if they see symptoms of the condition, including weakness, eyelid or facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing or slurred speech, according to the state health department.
The children live in King, Pierce, Lewis, Snohomish and Skagit counties.
The CDC began tracking the cases in 2014 after seeing an uptick in the number of cases.
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"At this point, there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", said Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health. But there is a suspected case in Buffalo involving a 3-year-old boy. "We're working closely with medical providers and public health agencies". The CDC has not released the list of states affected yet, though there are reports of the illness in Colorado and Minnesota, among others.
The CDC says that both the cause and long-term effects of the disease remain unknown. The key symptom to look for is weakened limbs and loss of feeling in the arms or legs. Lurie Children's Hospital has treated at least two of the children diagnosed with AFM, but it had not received any additional AFM patients as of Friday.
Some viruses and germs have been linked to AFM, including common germs that can cause colds and sore throats, and respiratory infections.
Various viruses can cause AFM, including West Nile and enteroviruses. However, it recommends practicing disease prevention measures, including staying up-to-date on vaccines and protecting yourself from mosquito bites.