IL now reports nine cases of a rare polio-like illness that has popped up in several states It's called Acute Flaccid Myelitis. Three other cases were reported in Pierce, Lewis, and Snohomish counties. Four of the five had a fever of 100.4 or higher. While the CDC says they do not know the cause of most cases of AFM, they do know that Poliovirus and West Nile virus can sometimes lead to AFM. So far this year, 38 cases of acute flaccid myelitis have been reported in 16 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including Texas and Colorado.
"At this point there isn't evidence that would point to a single source of illness among these cases", Dr. Scott Lindquist, state infectious disease epidemiologist at the Department of Health, said. "Isolation protocols and infection control procedures are in place and we are working with the CDC and the Allegheny County Health Department to further monitor and evaluate the patient conditions". "We'll continue to investigate and share information when we have it".
For reasons not fully understood, AFM affects mainly children. "So, we've seen that there's an association between viruses, specifically enterovirus, in the past". Some people may be unable to urinate, and, in severe cases, a person can suffer respiratory failure and must be put on a ventilator.
"But just because you catch the virus from somebody that developed AFM, doesn't mean that you will also develop AFM", Dr. Meade explained.
However, 11 of the Colorado cases of AFM have tested positive for EV A71, a rare type of enterovirus not usually seen in the USA but instead in Asia and other parts of the world, according to Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the Colorado state epidemiologist. Instead, people who are diagnosed with it are given "aggressive supportive care", Adalja says.
It resembles polio, but unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM.
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