January 20, 2019

Forty Percent Of Rare 'Polio-Like' Cases Are In The Midwest

28 October 2018, 07:41 | Rodolfo Wallace

CDC Investigating More Cases of Polio Like Syndrome Pexels 23 Oct 2018

CDC Investigating More Cases of Polio Like Syndrome			Pexels		23 Oct 2018

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported October 22 that there are 155 patients under investigation this year for acute flaccid myelitis, a condition that that can cause paralysis and mostly affects children.

Acute flaccid myelitis is the polio-like illness that has been striking children all across America, but what is it?

The health agency says it "received information on a total of 386 confirmed cases of AFM", which mainly involved kids, in the USA from August 2014 through September 2018.

State and federal health officials are warning the public about the increase in the number of cases of AFM, but there is no known treatment for it.

The CDC estimates the disease affects on average less than one in a million people a year in the US.

Rodney E. Rohde, chair of the Texas State University Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program, is closely following AFM reports coming out of the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

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"CDC has been actively investigating AFM, testing specimens and monitoring disease since 2014, when we first saw an increase in cases", Messonnier told reporters last week. AFM usually presents in just one side of the body, and tends to target the legs more so than the arms, he said. That is roughly 50 percent more than have already been confirmed. "All of the cases of AFM diagnosed since 2014 have tested negative for polio". He focuses on pediatric infectious disease, and says children could be more at risk because they have a weaker immune system.

The CDC has not confirmed the ten cases in IL are actually AFM yet, but IDPH expects confirmation in the next couple weeks.

"If we don't know what causes it, we don't know how to treat it", Dr. Vogel said.

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. The symptoms tend to occur about a week after they had a fever and respiratory illness. There are 155 possible cases of AFM being investigated across the country.

Sutfin says parents should protect their children against mosquito bites, and make sure they are up to date on their vaccines, as well as encourage frequent handwashing.

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