Causes Of Polio-Like AFM - The Disease Paralyzing Children - Still Unknown

CDC Investigating More Cases of Polio Like Syndrome			Pexels		23 Oct 2018

CDC Investigating More Cases of Polio Like Syndrome Pexels 23 Oct 2018

Most cases affects children but the Ingham County case is a male adult over 55.

Despite the similarity in symptoms, all AFM cases have tested negative for poliovirus.

During an information briefing, the Director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier said, despite extensive laboratory testing, they don't know what causes the arm or leg weakness and paralysis in most patients.

The CDC is actively investigating the recent cases and monitoring the disease's activities, as well as working closely with health care providers and health departments to increase awareness.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the alarming statistic, with the number of cases up from 127 in just one week. AFM causes weakness in the arms or legs and generally occurs in children.

"If we don't know what causes it, we don't know how to treat it", Dr. Vogel said. "With AFM you don't get that recovery".

Dr. John Christenson is a professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley's Children's Health in Indianapolis.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced it's working with the CDC to figure out the big question: What's causing AFM?

"It [AFM] seems to be post secondary to viruses that we generally see", Dr. Carlson explained.

"It's likely to be caused by viruses sometimes it's kind of a subsequent thing after a virus". The CDC is also exploring environmental toxins or genetic factors as a possibility.

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. "Everybody should have a flu shot", said Christenson. There are 155 possible cases of AFM being investigated across the country. In August and September, the agency received increased reports of patients under investigation for AFM symptoms.

She is talking about AFM, a rare neurological disease that often starts with symptoms of a virus and leaves children with weak limbs or paralysis. Parents can also help protect their children by encouraging hand washing, staying up to date on recommended vaccines and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.

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