CDC says polio-like disease is puzzling. These doctors disagree

Incurable Polio Like Disease Is Now Affecting Over 30 Children In Canada featured image

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and state health leaders on Thursday called for mandatory national reporting of cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, the polio-like disorder that has stricken as many as seven Minnesota children this year. The condition has been reported in 22 states, including 10 cases in Texas in October.

How many other AFM cases have been confirmed in Florida is unknown. Although infectious diseases that target the motor nerves and spinal cord can, in theory, affect anyone, Kassam said AFM has a particular "predilection" for children. It affects fewer than one in a million people each year across the country, the CDC estimates.

For more information, visit the CDC's AFM information page. Many are calling AFM a "polio-like" illness, because it causes weakness and paralysis in childrens' arms and legs. Midwest states make up 40 percent of all confirmed cases including IL with 10 confirmed cases.

"I feel like the CDC specifically, and our Departments of Health, need to go back, and look at these cases from before", Young said.

However, it can be hard to detect how patients actually get AFM. However, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says that it is now hard to interpret AFM trends as data collection is new and mostly voluntary.

Doctors and researchers don't know how or why AFM shows up in children or why cases occur in the late summer and fall. "You can see enterovirus particles in the motor neurons."It's not proof, Tyler said".

Bhargava says parents should aware of the symptoms, but not overly concerned.

Nationwide, a total of 155 cases are being investigated. The CDC says the cause could be a viral or triggered by an environmental toxin, or something else.

In the meantime, the CDC advises bringing children quickly to an emergency room if they display any of the following symptoms: Difficulty moving the eyes or drooping eyelids, facial droop or weakness, difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech, or sudden arm or leg weakness. 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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