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25 October 2018, 03:16 | Melissa Porter
Acute Flaccid Myelitis causes
So far, 127 cases in 22 states have been confirmed of acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, the CDC said. The symptoms tend to occur about a week after they had a fever and respiratory illness.
Officials are investigating a fifth suspected case of a potentially devastating muscle-weakening syndrome that affects mostly children and can cause paralysis, the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services said Monday.
But officials aren't sure why exactly the condition started showing up around the country in 2014 and why it's continuing.
Doctors say they are baffled by what's causing an uptick in cases of a paralyzing, polio-like condition among kids across the U.S.
"Even with the spike of cases that we have at the moment, it's still an incredibly rare condition", Friedman said.
"We don't know who may be at higher risk for developing AFM or the reasons why they may be at higher risk", she said.
CDC stresses that AFM still remains a very rare condition, with an occurrence rate of less than one among a million people.
"We know this can be frightening for parent", said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a telephone briefing to reporters last week.
Christenson understands why parents are concerned and he says prevention is key.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 62 cases of a polio-like illness that causes weakness in the legs and arms.
Venkateswaran said parents should seek medical help if their child is experiencing a sudden weakness in any part of the body, a sudden loss of bowl or bladder control, or neck pain. "We try to keep muscles and joints as healthy as possible so that when the nervous system is repairing itself, it will have adequate muscle to connect to", Greenberg said. The symptoms include: sudden weakness in the arms or legs, facial droop or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing.
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.
To date, however, according to the CDC, no pathogen or germ has been consistently detected in a patient's spinal fluid that indicates the cause of AFM.
This is why the CDC's advice for preventing an infection that might lead to AFM is so general: wash your hands, and cover up and use repellent to prevent insect and tick bites.
"We don't know a lot about the long-term prognosis of AFM right now".
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