What is acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), the polio-like illness causing worry?

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Health officials said AFM can start with cold-like symptoms, but that's no reason to rush over to the ER.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday it has received reports of 127 suspected cases of a polio-like condition called acute flaccid myelitis or AFM.

AFM attacks the patient's nervous system (and the spinal cord, in particular) resulting in extreme weakness of the arms and legs.

A unsafe and rare disease that's similar to the polio virus is on the rise in the U.S., and it has health officials baffled.

There is no specific treatment, and most of the victims recover.

In 2018, the number of cases almost doubled over past year, with 62 children in 22 states confirmed by the CDC.

On a Facebook page dedicated to the disease, one parent posted that her daughter was diagnosed with AFM four years ago after catching enterovirus. No one finding can explain all the cases, she said.

Faircloth said she wants other parents to be aware.

"I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness", she said.

Another 65 cases nationwide are under investigation for AFM by the CDC. She did not test positive for enterovirus D68, but Pilarowski is convinced both her children had the virus, which was making the rounds in the Denver area the summer her kids got sick. "We don't fully understand the long-term consequences of AFM".

Messonnier said the CDC has tested every stool specimen from AFM patients.

Some patients recover quickly, while others experience paralysis and require ongoing care.

But some state health departments have been making public their reported cases.

There is now no cure for AFM, known cause in most cases, or clear explanation for why some people who contract the enterovirus experience symptoms and others do not. Fifteen states said they'd confirmed cases this year.

"We see it peaking every two years", he said in an interview Wednesday. "There's going to be a delay, a lag in the timing of some of these reports".

The CDC is investigating the outbreak.

"The cases are from all over the state", Ehresmann said.

The number of confirmed cases has been on the rise since late 2014, when there were 120 confirmed cases from August to December in 34 states.

The CDC said it doesn't know how long symptoms of the disease will last for patients.

"They are generally seeking medical care and being evaluated by neurologists, infectious disease doctors and their pediatricians". I think one is, like any infection, the things that we talk about with hand hygiene and people coughing and sneezing into their elbow and trying to not spread germs in the family. However, experts say that initial indications from a small number of cases suggest a grim outlook.

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