CDC expresses concern over mysterious surge in polio-like paralysis cases

Lynette PayneOct 19, 2018

Because officials don't know the cause of AFM, they can't recommend a specific way to prevent it. "Unfortunately there are no real treatments that have been proven to work, but early rehabilitation has been shown to help", Narula said.

In a press briefing Tuesday, officials talked about an increase in cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) this year. One death of a child diagnosed with AFM occurred in 2017. No one finding can explain all the cases, she said.

Pardo-Villamizar said, "We don't know if the virus is attacking directly the spinal cord, or if the immune response against the virus is producing the damage to the spinal cord". "I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness".

There is no known single cause of AFM, whose symptoms include weakness in the arms or legs and sometimes paralysis. This year's AFM outbreak is gaining attention because there are 127 suspected cases so far.

Some patients have quickly recovered, but one child who contracted AFM - which affects the nervous system via the spinal cord - died previous year.

The CDC has tested many different specimens from patients with this condition for a wide variety of pathogens, or germs, that can cause AFM. Some patients have recovered and others continue to experience paralysis, requiring ongoing care.

Cases nationwide may have gone up since 2014, but Wisconsin didn't see its first case until 2016, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

It takes some time to investigate each case, Messonnier said. Fifteen states said they'd confirmed cases this year. "There's going to be a delay, a lag in the timing of some of these reports". Since then, no large outbreaks of virus have occurred, according to the CDC. States are not required to provide this information to CDC, but they have been voluntarily reporting their data.

Extremely. According to the CDC, there were 38 confirmed cases in 16 states this year through September 30. In 2016, 22 across 17 states in 2015 and 120 across 34 states in 2014.

A Tennessee mother says her son is the latest victim of a mysterious polio-like disease that is concerning parents across the country. "These kids have a sudden onset of weakness and they are generally seeking medical care and being evaluated by neurologists, infectious disease doctors and their pediatricians and coming to public health awareness". "This is a mystery so far, and we haven't solved it yet, so we have to be thinking broadly". There was one confirmed death past year, the CDC said on Tuesday.

The CDC recommends that parents make sure their children are vaccinated, wash their hands regularly and use mosquito repellent when outdoors.

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