U.S. CDC confirms 62 cases of rare polio-like neurological condition

U.S. CDC confirms 62 cases of rare polio-like neurological condition

U.S. CDC confirms 62 cases of rare polio-like neurological condition

The average age of patients with confirmed cases of AFM is 4 years old, according to the CDC.

While the CDC has yet to confirm a case in Virginia, Hoff said her son Camdyn was diagnosed with AFM while hospitalized at UVA Medical Center, falling ill with the telltale symptoms.

"We know this can be frightening for parents", said Dr. NancyMessonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

But what is particularly confounding doctors is that the number of cases spikes only every other year - with larger numbers in 2014, 2016 and this year - and fewer cases in 2015 and 2017.

Some children may have mild symptoms, but AFM doesn't just sneak up on its victims.

"This is a mystery so far", Messonnier said, describing AFM as a "pretty dramatic disease", which preys on a child's nervous system.

It's possible that some milder cases haven't been reported by doctors to their state health department or the CDC, but Messonnier believes that number would be small. Maryland's first case was reported September 21.

Officials at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City said two cases of AFM have been confirmed at the hospital.

"In a general sense, it's very rare", she said.

Katy Payne, a mother from IL, who was interviewed, said about her daughter: "I took her to the ER because she turned blue".

"There is a lot we don't know about AFM", Messonnier told NPR in a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday. AFM mainly affects children, and symptoms include muscle weakness in the arms and legs, respiratory illness, neck weakness and stiffness, drooping eyelids, facial drooping, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, the Health Department said. Some patients have recovered and others continue to experience paralysis, requiring ongoing care. The agency had a teleconference with health providers slated for later today, and it provided a toolkit for diagnosing AFM, along with instructions for reporting suspected cases.

Messonnier said that the CDC has neither a clear idea of who might be at higher risk of developing the disease nor why.

And despite the resemblance to polio, officials have ruled out poliovirus as a cause of the illnesses.

Officials said they will be conducting additional analysis on this year's cases.

The long-term effects of the disease are also unknown. CDC has tested every stool specimen from every AFM patient.

Parents can best protect their children from serious diseases by taking prevention steps, such as washing their hands, staying up to date on recommended vaccines and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.

The illness affects the patient's spinal cord.

"Early intervention is definitely always helpful". "You don't need an bad lot of paralyzed children to make this an important problem". Of those, 30 states said they had cases that were confirmed, suspected or being investigated - including 15 states that said they had confirmed cases in 2018.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, so far there has been one confirmed case in Ohio.

Related news