Rare polio-like disease is spreading — CDC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned about Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a serious condition that causes weakness in the arms or legs.

So far in 2018, there have been 62 confirmed cases of AFM in 22 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC announced this week that there have been 62 confirmed cases in 22 states, with OH being one of them.

Now, four cases of the rare and mysterious polio-like condition affecting children have been diagnosed in NY. "Overall, the rate of AFM over the years that it has been diagnosed which is since 2014 is less than one in a million". These cases are among the total of 127 reports of patients under investigation for the condition. "We are working closely with healthcare providers and state and local health departments to increase awareness for AFM".

"At this moment, we don't know if it's a virus that is coming and producing direct damage of the gray matter in the spinal cord, or if a virus is triggering immunological responses that produce a secondary damage in the spinal cord", Carlos Pardo-Villamizar, a neurological disease expert at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who recently authored a paper on AFM, told Kaiser Health News.

The cause of AFM is unknown, but it may be a result of viruses and environmental toxins, according to the CDC. It causes sudden weakness in the arms or legs, facial droop or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing.

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The CDC has a hunch that AFM can be caused by other viruses like enterovirus or west nile virus. Another cause could be a type of enterovirus called EV D68, Ellerin suggests. The most severe symptom is breathing trouble.

It will take an MRI to confirm if the patients have AFM.

A frustration has been trying to get insurance companies to cover the prolonged physical therapy required. "What the physician will do is rule out other causes rule out other things that might be causing it".

All four of her children had come down with a cold at the same time, but young Abigail's condition continued to worsen despite her mother's best efforts to keep her kids healthy.

"There are multiple different viruses that can cause this syndrome", Greenberg said. Zika is one of the most notorious recent examples. The CDC recommends staying up to date with vaccinations and protecting against mosquito bites.

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