5th suspected case of rare muscle-weakening illness being investigated in MA

5th suspected case of rare muscle-weakening illness being investigated in MA

This year alone there are 155 cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), afflicting the gray matter of the spinal cord that are being investigated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Even with the spike of cases that we have at the moment, it's still an incredibly rare condition", Friedman said.

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. In the past, an oral polio vaccine could cause a polio-like syndrome in some people, but that vaccine has not been available in the USA since 2000 and the last known case in the US was in an infant with other health problems who was vaccinated in India, brought to the USA and died in 2013, the CDC says.

According to CDC data, there were 120 confirmed cases of AFM in 34 states from August to December 2014, 22 confirmed AFM cases in 17 states in 2015, 149 cases in 39 states in 2016, and 33 cases in 16 states in 2017.

State health departments have reported an increase in confirmed AFM cases in the past few months. Most of the confirmed cases nationally involve children. "Overall, the rate of AFM over the years that it has been diagnosed which is since 2014 is less than one in a million. Hopefully not. And that's why we have to keep our eye on this".

The extent of recovery depends on how AFM affects children's bodies, said Greenberg.

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"We have not been able to find the cause of the majority of AFM cases", the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier told reporters on Thursday.

EV-D68 is an enterovirus, a distant relative of the poliovirus.

"That's important because enteroviruses cause the common cold", he adds. That outbreak coincided with a national outbreak of severe respiratory illness. That virus has been identified as one cause of AFM.

Though there's very little known about the illness, doctors have determined it's not polio, despite the similar symptoms.

The CDC urges parents to be aware of this illness and to seek medical care right away if family members develop sudden weakness or loss of muscle tone in the arms or legs. "AFM can be hard to diagnose because it shares numerous same symptoms as other neurologic diseases".

People should also try to not get bitten by mosquitos-especially in countries where the mosquitos carry the West Nile virus-by using repellent, staying indoors at dusk and dawn, and removing standing or stagnant water near where they're living.

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