ibusinesslines.com November 13, 2018

CDC Investigates 4 Possible Cases Of Rare, Polio-like Illness In Michigan

28 October 2018, 07:42 | Melissa Porter

Acute Flaccid Myelitis which causes paralysis has been reported in several children's hospitals in Eastern

Acute Flaccid Myelitis which causes paralysis has been reported in several children's hospitals in Eastern Canada

Many confirmed cases have been children, with the average age 4 years old.

Every AFM patient has tested negative for the polio virus, and no pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid.

The CDC said: "While we don't know the cause of most of the AFM cases, it's always important to practice disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands, and protecting yourself from mosquito bites". The condition has been reported in 22 states, including 10 cases in Texas in October. The CDC does not fully understand long-term consequences or why some patients recover quickly while others continue to experience paralysis and weakness.

"This is a mystery so far, and we haven't solved it yet, so we have to be thinking broadly", Messonnier said.

Dr. John Christenson is a professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley's Children's Health in Indianapolis. It can also be caused by a number of different viruses, including non-polio enteroviruses or West Nile virus.

"It [AFM] seems to be post secondary to viruses that we generally see", Dr. Carlson explained. Environmental toxins or a condition where the body's immune system attacks and destroys body tissue, could also be factors.

All four of her children had come down with a cold at the same time, but young Abigail's condition continued to worsen despite her mother's best efforts to keep her kids healthy.

USA Today: "Scientists are searching for answers to AFM, the illness causing polio-like paralysis in children" - "Scientists are studying whether the rare but paralyzing illness that has afflicted scores of children this year is linked to a respiratory virus that circulates in late summer and early fall. Everybody should have a flu shot", said Christenson. In August and September, the agency received increased reports of patients under investigation for AFM symptoms.

Parents should seek medical care right away if a child develops symptoms of AFM, which include sudden weakness and loss of muscle tone in the arms or legs.

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.

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