At this point, health officials are not sure what causes AFM but say that it can occur after a viral infection, West Nile Virus and other illnesses. There are a variety of possible causes of AFM, such as viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders.
State and national health authorities are raising the alarm about a polio-like "mystery illness" that has left dozens of children with paralysis and other symptoms in MA and 21 other states.
CDC There have been 386 confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis in the USA since 2014. Maryland's first case was reported September 21. It's also important to note that the number of known or suspected cases is small, so the odds of contracting the illness are extremely low.
Since the condition was first recognized by CDC in 2014, the agency has confirmed 362 cases. In 2016, there were 149 cases. But the data reported Tuesday represents "a substantially larger number than in previous months this year", Messonnier said. The agency had a teleconference with health providers slated for later today, and it provided a toolkit for diagnosing AFM, along with instructions for reporting suspected cases. "So I think that should be reassuring to people", Dominguez said.
"Poliovirus is not the cause of these AFM cases". "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now".
Parents and clinicians should remember that this is a rare condition, affecting less than one in a million people, she said. The CDC says an outbreak in 2014 seemed to coincide with an outbreak of enterovirus D68, however the virus wasn't found in every AFM patient.
"Most of the cases that CDC has learned about have been in children", said the CDC. The average age of those afflicted is 4, and 90 percent of those with AFM are 18 or younger.
"It's a bit of a medical mystery", he said.
As CDC scientists search for the root cause of the mysterious ailment, the organisation has urged healthcare providers to be extra vigilant when dealing with patients displaying limb weakness and mobility issues.
The CDC says disease prevention steps should be followed, including staying up to date on vaccines, washing hands and using mosquito repellant. But, if their child is diagnosed, parents should prepare for extensive physical therapy - therapy that isn't always covered by insurance, he said.
Now 3 years old, Hunter has slowly recovered.
A new polio-like illness has spread across 22 states so far this year, impacting children nationwide. In other cases, patients remain paralyzed.