Polio-like illness causing paralysis in children reaches the Carolinas

Five kids in Maryland may have a polio-like disease, as CDC investigates

CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological 'Mystery Illness' In Kids

This year's outbreak marks the third wave of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) to hit the United States since 2014, and this wave is on track to be the worst yet, experts say.

"What parents have to know is if your child suddenly has a weak arm or leg, is not speaking properly, has a stiff neck or a wobbly neck - call the doctor immediately", pediatrician Dr. Laura Popper said.

"There is a lot we don't know about AFM, and I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness", Ms Messonnier said, according to the LA Times.

The CDC is not sure why there was a rise in cases of AFM in 2014.

Right. But here's the political part - the part that raises question marks that simply hang in dead air: Guess who doesn't get vaccinated according to set CDC schedules?

The number of confirmed cases reported to date is similar to levels reported in the fall of 2014 and 2016. In 2017, one person died of AFM. But Messonnier cautioned that it would be "premature" to be confident that this year will be the same as the earlier years. But mysteriously no other country has reported the emerging every-two-years pattern seen in the U.S., Messonnier said.

The CDC says AFM's cause can vary from a virus to environmental toxins to genetic disorders.

The first case of acute flaccid myelitis, a rare polio-like illness that can cause paralysis and mostly affects children, has been confirmed in Florida.

"AFM is a rare condition".

"Just because they have a cold necessarily, unless their concerned about dehydration or breathing trouble, I would not want parents just to rush in to think there is something we could magically do to prevent this condition", McGuffin said.

Acute flaccid myelitis(AFM) affects the gray matterin the spinal cord, causing sudden muscle weakness and a loss of reflexes. Some patients have recovered and others continue to experience paralysis, requiring ongoing care. Between August 2014 and September 2018, 362 cases were confirmed by the CDC.

Benson said the polio virus is not the culprit in the AFM cases.

In some individuals, health officials have determined that the condition was from infection with a type of virus that causes severe respiratory illness. Since then, there have been more than 350 confirmed cases of the sickness. It is also not known exactly what the long-term implications of the disease are.

Media reports in recent weeks have suggested that a "polio-like virus" might be triggering the condition, elevating fears that it might be polio itself. But so far, no pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid.

That's up from 22 people who were said to have it in 2015. So far in 2018, there have been 62 confirmed cases of the disease, an increase from a year ago. But some state health departments have been making public their reported cases.

CNN reached out to health departments in every state; 48 states responded, plus the District of Columbia.

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