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Mysterious paralyzing illness reported in 22 states — CDC
18 October 2018, 07:13 | Melissa Porter
Rare health threat captures attention in the heartland
The CDC is also considering the possibility that environmental toxins could be triggering the sudden muscle weakness. "We actually don't know what's causing this increase", said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, of the CDC.
AFM affects the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing arms and legs to suddenly grow weak, sometimes leading to paralysis, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
AFM was first detected in 2014, when 120 cases were confirmed.
A rare, polio-like disease causing paralysis is affecting children across the country.
According to the CDC 127 people are believed to be sick with the illness.
Some children may have mild symptoms, but AFM doesn't just sneak up on its victims.
What's the prognosis for someone diagnosed with AFM?
"That's pretty terrifying. It is terrifying if you are a parent", Kerkering said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health says symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs.
AFM appears to target children at around age 4. Ninety percent of those affected are children.
"We see it peaking every two years", he said in an interview Wednesday.
Kate Fowlie, a spokeswoman for the CDC, said in an email that many states are voluntarily reporting their data on the disease and that "many parents are coming forward to tell their stories".
"The cases are from all over the state", Ehresmann said. He redirects redundant nerves from other parts of the arm or abdomen to replace those lost to the disease.
"It's rare, but certainly when you hear about it it's very scary for parents", CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula told "CBS This Morning". But treatments for the infection itself remain elusive.
"That's important because enterovirusescause the common cold", Ellerin said.
In total, CNN found 47 confirmed cases and 49 more that were suspected or being investigated, for a total of 96. That does not include the case being treated at Wolfson Children's Hospital. "Unfortunately, there are no real treatments that have been proven to work, but early rehabilitation has been shown to help".
A vaccine against enterovirus D68 would be scientifically feasible, but not economically viable, Messacar says. The U.S. has had 386 confirmed cases since August 2014.
This year's numbers are similar to 2016 and 2014. It tends to develop in children more than adults. It's unclear from mouse studies whether AFM symptoms will return in afflicted individuals, Tyler says.
20, the CDC had confirmed 38 cases in 16 states, which aren't required to report AFM cases to the CDC.
In the most severe cases, the muscles that control breathing are weakened to the point the patient requires ventilator. "So I think that should be reassuring to people", Dominguez said.
The OSDH has kept the identity of the patient confidential, saying only that they are under 18 years of age and that the case is not now considered a public health risk.
"She couldn't hold herself up and everything. And he's had a lot of support at school with physical therapy". "None of the specimens have tested positive for poliovirus". "Let's not act like this is a surprise if this comes back in 2020, but let's be more prepared".
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