AFM, a mysterious polio-like illness, 'very frustrating' to diagnose
AFM, a mysterious polio-like illness, 'very frustrating' to diagnose
CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological 'Mystery Illness' In Kids
20 October, 2018, 03:30
The increase in cases appeared to begin in 2014, when the CDC started tracking the illness. According to data supplied by the CDC, the illness seems to spike around the month of September.
Milder cases of the disease might not be reported; however, Dr. Messonnier explained that the CDC is likely receiving information pertaining to the majority of cases.
Unfortunately health officials do not know the cause of AFM or the long-term effects.
Officials will continue to explore other viruses, environmental toxins, and other avenues, in order to identify the cause of these cases, Dr. Messonnier said.
AFM is rare. Less than one in a million people in the US get AFM each year, according to the CDC. However, experts say that initial indications from a small number of cases suggest a grim outlook.
Doctors say if the cold gets worse or the child experiences weakness in limbs, he or she should see a physician.
"Just because they have a cold necessarily, unless their concerned about dehydration or breathing trouble, I would not want parents just to rush in to think there is something we could magically do to prevent this condition", McGuffin said. Its symptoms include a sudden weakness in the arms and legs. Some patients recover quickly and some need ongoing therapy for paralysis.
After testing patients' stool specimens, the CDC determined poliovirus is not the cause of the AFM cases. There is no evidence of infection with the mosquito-borne West Nile virus either, she says, although she still encourages parents to send their children out with bug repellent. Here's what puzzles health officials about AFM: The cause is still unknown.
According to the CDC, there were 120 confirmed cases of AFM in the second half of 2014, 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016 and 33 in 2017.
Officials said they will be conducting additional analysis on this year's cases.
The disorder has been diagnosed in unvaccinated children and also in children who have received some of their recommended vaccinations, she said. It's the same reason, we developed flu vaccines - to lessen the burden of disease.
AFM is a rare, but serious condition that affects the nervous system. No pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid.
The state Department of Public Health said the best prevention message is that parents should make sure they and their children do basic things to help keep them healthy, such as washing hands, covering a cough or sneeze, staying home when sick, and making sure they're up to date on vaccines.
AFM has been called a polio-like illness due to its resemblance to the viral infection that impacted hundreds of thousands, particularly between the late 1940s and early 1950s.
It took several months, lots of research and finding other parents online before Gary took Sophia to see a Dallas specialist, who finally confirmed her diagnosis: acute flaccid myelitis or AFM.
But, if their child is diagnosed, parents should prepare for extensive physical therapy - therapy that isn't always covered by insurance, he said.
These states haven't been named, yet regional news outlets have been flagging cases at every stage, even when one is merely "suspected".
The states Daily Mail Online is now aware of with confirmed cases includes: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.
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