CDC says rare polio-like disease could be spreading

25 October, 2018, 02:35 | Author: Kara Nash
  • MGN Online

Some with AFM will feel weakness in their arms or legs, a loss of muscle tone or slower reflexes.

Olga Buiter encourages her daughter, Zoe, to try and use her right arm while they play at their home in Northwest Seattle on October 13.

The average age of the US patients this year is four, and doctors in Canada are reporting a similar pattern.

State health officials say four cases of a rare, mysterious illness that can paralyze children have been confirmed in OH amid a jump in such cases nationally.

The exact cause remains unknown-even though there are 386 confirmed cases and counting since 2014, according to the health agency. "We recommend seeking medical care right away if you or your child develop sudden weakness of the arms and legs". St. Louis has its first reported case of acute flaccid myelitis.

It will take an MRI to confirm if the patients have AFM.

"There is a lot we don't know about AFM", Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the agency's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told the media. Each year, the number of cases peaked in September.


"So there does seem like there's more to this than just the virus infection and there has to be some sort of genetic setup that makes these children vulnerable to that particular virus".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 62 cases across 22 states this year, compared with 33 cases last year, and is investigating dozens more reports. Still, CDC estimates that less than one in a million people in the United States will get AFM every year. The average age of those affected is four. Most of the confirmed cases nationally, including all those in OH, involve children. A couple of the children ended up being treated in the ICU, but there have been no deaths.

Officials are investigating a fifth suspected case of a potentially devastating muscle-weakening syndrome that affects mostly children and can cause paralysis, the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services said Monday.

"We don't know who may be at higher risk for developing AFM or the reasons why they may be at higher risk".

"But that said, because we are seeing quite a few more cases than we would normally see, we certainly want our colleagues.to be aware of what to look for", he said of other practitioners and hospitals.

If a child "develops weakness of a limb, especially in the context of cold-like symptoms or other viral symptoms, they should see their health-care provider immediately", Toronto's Friedman told CBC.

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