Cases of mysterious paralyzing illness reported in 22 states
Cases of mysterious paralyzing illness reported in 22 states
An electron micrograph of a thin section of EV-D68 a rare enterovirus. Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Yiting Zhang CDC
18 October, 2018, 19:11
Today, federal health officials expressed worry about an uptick in acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a mysterious and rare condition mostly affecting children.
"In this case, there's no connection between the affected individuals", said Pastore y Piontti.
The Centers for Disease Control confirmed 62 cases of AFM across 22 states, but would not identify the states.
In a few cases, it appears that the illnesses were linked to viruses, including enterovirus. The CDC actually doesn't know what causes the disease or much about it at all.
AFM was first detected in 2014, when 120 cases were confirmed.
According to the CDC 127 people are believed to be sick with the illness. Another spike came in 2016. But Messonnier cautioned that it would be "premature" to be confident that this year will be the same as the earlier years. But the data reported Tuesday represents "a substantially larger number than in previous months this year", Messonnier said.
Victims generally suffer from muscle weakness and some paralysis of the face, neck, back, arms and legs.
CNN has reported that this year, more than half of all US states have had confirmed or possible cases, including North and SC.
Maryland health officials said their first case was reported to them September 21.
Most cases are in children.
"As a parent myself, I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", she said.
It's important for parents to know the symptoms so they can get their child immediate medical care and help doctors get a handle on the disease.
The virus is diagnosed by examining a patient's nervous system and in combination with looking at photos of the patient's spinal cord, the CDC says.
According to the CDC, scientists have not yet been able to determine who is most at risk for developing AFM. Those officials are probing another 65 illnesses in those states. "Most AFM cases occur in the late summer and fall", which she referred to as "seasonal clustering". There have been cases each year since, but the numbers have been higher on alternate years.
"It's definitely not been transmissable from person to person from what the investigation so far has seen". Doctors are also urging that vaccines be kept up to date.
They also know that all six children developed the disease around the same time.
The CDC says this is still a rare condition that affects less than one in 1 million people per year.
"We have not been able to find a cause for the majority of these AFM cases", Messonnier admitted.
The particular strain of virus might have something to do with the severity of AFM and how long its effects last.
"We know this can be frightening for parents", Messonnier said. Make sure your children wash their hands, make sure you wash your hands, and cough into your elbow.
The following year, there were 22 confirmed cases in 17 states, and 2016 saw 149 cases in 39 jurisdictions, including D.C. In 2017 there were 33 confirmed cases in 16 states.
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