The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took steps to warn about the symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) after doctors recorded a jump in cases this year. All told 386 cases of AFM have been confirmed since 2014, more than 90 percent in children younger than 18.
AFM is extremely rare, according to CBS, and the CDC estimates that less than one in a million people in the US will get it every year.
Nesemeier, of the N.D. Dept. of Health, says children are more at risk for respiratory viruses. A seventh case has been "clinically diagnosed", but remains under review by the CDC.
In research developments, a team based at the J. Craig Venter Institute conducted experiments to see if a specific EV-D68 genotype is linked to neurologic symptoms and found that some viruses from the 2014 outbreak can infect neuronal cells. In 2018, the federal health watchdog confirmed 62 instances of the disease - which causes limb weakness and can paralyse sufferers. It affects fewer than one in a million people each year across the country, the CDC estimates. Officials say this is not considered a public health threat, so they will not release which part of the state the case was confirmed in, or any other details.
"AFM is a rare, but serious condition that affects the nervous system".
Officials would not say what states they lived in, but cases have been reported in New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington. This is the first report of potential AFM to the NDDoH.
The other case of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, occurred in August, and four others are under investigation in MA. Some of the symptoms include sudden muscle weakness or paralysis in the arms or legs and weak or stiff neck.
Some patients diagnosed with this condition have recovered quickly, but some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care, she said. She noted the confirmed cases are in 22 states.
"This is a mystery so far", the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier said in a call Tuesday with reporters. "Parents need to know that AFM is rare even with the increase in cases we are seeing now". West Nile virus is also not a culprit, she said. Health officials aren't sure, and they have given no concrete information as to why the illness seems to peak in the late summer and fall. Officials will be conducting additional analysis on this year's cases. But so far, no pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid.
To help prevent the illness' spread, the CDC advises proper hand washing, staying up to date on vaccines and using mosquito repellent to avoid bites.