Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

CDC: 'Mystery illness' leaving dozens of children paralyzed

CDC: 'Mystery illness' leaving dozens of children paralyzed

The average age of the patients in all confirmed cases over the past five years is just 4 years old, and more than 90% of the cases overall occur in children 18 and younger, according to analysis of cases reported in recent years.

There are now 62 confirmed reports of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, an illness similar to polio, across 22 states in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A sharp spike in cases of pediatric acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is raising red flags with health officials, who despite concerted efforts, haven't identified a cause.

In 2014 the CDC said there was a spike in the AFM virus, with 120 people afflicted with it from August to December of that year in 34 states. Most of the cases have been in children.

The mysterious increase in cases of AFM, as it's called, was first spotted in the late summer and autumn of 2014.

The CDC has not traced the virus to a specific germ, but the agency said it has a variety of causes including viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.

In addition to viruses, potential causes may include environmental toxins and genetic disorders, according to the CDC, and it "can be hard to diagnose because it shares numerous same symptoms as other neurologic diseases".

CNN found that Colorado had 14 confirmed cases, more than any other state, followed by Texas with eight and Minnesota with six. Specifically, the disease affects the area of the spinal cord called gray matter.

Samsung Galaxy S10 might come with 6.6-inch display
All of this is speculation at this point, and there's plenty of time for Samsung to decide on the Note 10's final design. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is expected to arrive in August next year, a year after the arrival of the Galaxy Note 9 .

Polio-like illness causing paralysis in children reaches the Carolinas
The state's health department said the five reported cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) also are being investigated by the U.S. Parents should seek medical care immediately if their child develops sudden weakness or loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs.

Woman who refused to let black neighbor into building fired
Despite her prejudice behavior, Toles doesn't want the public to harrass Muellers. "I do it all the time", she said. Thornton also said Toles forced his way inside after an altercation at the door that wasn't caught on video.

Still, because this is a "pretty dramatic disease", Messonnier said health officials want to raise awareness about the symptoms to make sure parents seek medical care immediately if their children show a sudden onset of weakness or loss of muscle tone in their arms and legs. In extreme cases, paralysis and death can occur.

The outlook for patients with AFM can vary from a quick recovery to ongoing paralysis, Messonnier said.

Parents have reported that the limbs of affected children appear lifeless.

The overall rate of AFM is fewer than one in a million, she said. "Parents need to know that AFM is rare even with the increase in cases we are seeing now". Then in 2016, there were 149 confirmed cases.

The disorder has been diagnosed in unvaccinated children and also in children who have received some of their recommended vaccinations, she said.

Officials have not determined a cause of the rare disease.

The CDC is investigating the cases and monitoring the disease, and encourages people to prevent the disease by staying up to date on vaccines, washing hands and protecting against mosquito bites. Working with local and state health departments and hospitals, the CDC has been able to confirm a number of these cases faster, she said.

States are not required to provide this information to the CDC but have been voluntarily reporting their data.

Like this: