"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".
20, the CDC had confirmed 38 cases in 16 states, which aren't required to report AFM cases to the CDC.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 62 cases of a polio-like illness that causes weakness in the legs and arms. The agency said it is very concerned about it.
Doctors diagnose AFM based on a combination of the patient's symptoms and an MRI scan. Specifically, the disease affects the area of the spinal cord called gray matter. Sixty-two cases of the rare but serious condition have now been confirmed in 22 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
USA health officials on Tuesday reported a jump in cases of a rare paralyzing illness in children, and said it seems to be following an every-other-year pattern.
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Health officials call the condition acute flaccid myelitis. "We want to encourage parents to seek medical care right away if you or your child develops symptoms of AFM, such as sudden weakness and loss of muscle tone in your arms or legs". Doctors at Children's have not seen an AFM patient needing a ventilator this year, but have treated such cases in the past, Benson said. Of those, 30 states said they had cases that were confirmed, suspected or being investigated - including 15 states that said they had confirmed cases in 2018. There have now been a total of 386 confirmed cases since 2014.
CDC officials say some possible suspected causes, like polio and West Nile virus, have been ruled out.
Since the condition was first recognized by CDC in 2014, the agency has confirmed 362 cases. There was one confirmed death a year ago, the CDC said on Tuesday.
Kelly Tunan's 5-year-old son was diagnosed with the disease in 2015 and had to undergo several surgeries on his right leg and right foot. But Messonnier said that, in general, parents can help protect their children from diseases by washing their hands, making sure their children are up to date with vaccinations and applying insect repellent to protect against mosquito bites, which can spread viruses.
"Many times it can start with what looks like a respiratory illness, a little bit of a fever", Narula said. We don't know who may be at higher risk for developing AFM or the reasons why they may be at higher risk. It could be potentially deadly if the diaphragm is paralyzed because the child would be unable to breathe. States are not required to provide this information to CDC, but they have been voluntarily reporting their data.