Mysterious Paralyzing Disease AFM Reported In New York City, 30 States

Nebraska’s first case of paralyzing illness confirmed in Sarpy and Cass health department’s area

Mysterious Paralyzing Disease AFM Reported In New York City, 30 States

The Department of Health says it is best to get vaccinated for the illnesses that cause it, to wash your hands and to avoid close contact with sick people.

The AFM cases occurred in 31 US states, including 15 cases in Colorado and 14 in Texas. Oftentimes, however, despite extensive laboratory testing, a cause for AFM is unable to be identified.

In Maryland, there are three confirmed cases. In the most severe cases, the illness can leave a patient paralyzed.

About 120 cases were confirmed in 2014, the first time such a wave occurred.

A mysterious disease called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) has affected 116 people in 31 states this year, federal health officials said Monday. At the end of September, the CDC reported 38 cases had been confirmed in 16 states. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, called for them to approve emergency funding for the CDC's "AFM investigations, treatment, and prevention efforts".

"I want to reaffirm to parents, patients, and our nation CDC's commitment to this serious medical condition", said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

Despite the present limited understanding of AFM, there are some things that are known about this illness.AFM seems to most commonly cause symptoms in young children (most often less than 4 years of age).Its occurrence seems to peak in late summer/early fall (July through November).Almost two thirds of patients diagnosed with this illness do not regain full strength.The overall mortality from this condition is not yet known. "There is still a lot to learn about AFM and more study is needed". Now a lawmaker from NY wants to bolster funding to the CDC to figure out what is going on.

The CDC has been monitoring and investigating an increasing number of cases of AFM since 2014.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, but a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in treating brain and spinal cord illnesses, may recommend interventions on a case-by-case basis.

Symptoms can be similar to those associated with polio virus and West Nile and include facial and eyelid drooping, facial weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, sudden limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the arms or legs.

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