The illness is called acute flaccid myelitis (also called AFM). It can be a complication following a viral infection, but environmental and genetic factors may also contribute to its development.
"As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections", Ms. Klobuchar wrote in the letter. "It's incredibly heartbreaking to see this". From the year 2014 to 2018, information regarding total number of 362 cases of AFM in the USA has been received by the United States diseases prevention and control center.
"The CDC has indicated there might be some increases in cases, and in mid-September we advised health care providers to be vigilant and report to the health department so that we can pass on the information to the CDC", Arnold said.
AFM is believed to be caused by viruses, notably the enterovirus D68. Symptoms can include limb weakness, facial drooping, and trouble swallowing or speaking.
CDC has tested many different specimens from AFM patients for a wide range of pathogens (germs) that can cause AFM.
Up through September of this year, 38 cases of AFM have been confirmed in 16 states, according to the CDC, and 362 people have contracted AFM since August 2014. Individuals diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) experience different issues due to largely gray matter involvement during recovery than traditional transverse myelitis with spastic paralysis.
Seven-year-old Quinton Hill from Lakeville is one of those six confirmed cases. Though the AFM cases show a similar seasonality as polio, Osterholm said a difference in the recent AFM pattern is that most severe polio cases were in adults.
Messacar said it's important is for parents to seek immediate medical help if their child shows symptoms of weakness in the muscles of the face or throat. It affects a person's nervous system, specifically the spinal cord.
The CDC recommends getting children vaccinated against the poliovirus, as well as protecting against bites from mosquitos (which carry the West Nile virus).
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