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Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,059
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is investigating 28 new cases across the US of a rare-polio like illness. 

 

That brings the total number of suspected cases to 155, with 62 cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) already confirmed in 22 states. 

 

The average age of those affected is four years old and more than 90 percent of cases overall are in children under 18, Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, told reporters in a media call on Thursday.

 

The condition, caused by a viral infection, appears to start off as a common cold, before progressing to paralysis. 

 

But health officials are struggling to determine the specific virus it is linked to or how to treat symptoms aside from waiting them out.

 

'We have not been able to find the cause of the majority of AFM cases...and we're frustrated that we haven't been able to identify the cause of illness,' Dr Messonnier said.

 

WHAT IS AFM?

 

AFM is a rare, but serious condition that affects the nervous system. Specifically it attacks the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the body's muscles and reflexes to weaken.

 

Symptoms often develop after a viral infection, such as enterovirus or West Nile virus, but often no clear cause is found.

 

Patients start off having flu-like symptoms including sneezing and coughing. This slowly turns into muscle weakness, difficulty moving the eyes and then polio-like symptoms including facial drooping and difficulty swallowing. 

 

'If [AFM affects gray matter] lower in the spinal cord [paralysis will] be more in the legs and if it's higher up, it'll be more in the arms,' Dr Fernando Acosta, a pediatric neurologist at Cook Children's Medical Center, in Fort Worth, Texas, told Daily Mail Online in an interview last week.

 

'Or if it's closer to the neck, they can't move head, neck and shoulders. We had one case of that and that was just awful.'

 

In the most severe cases, respiratory failure can occur when the muscles that support breathing become weak.

 

In rare cases, AFM can cause neurological complications that could lead to death. 

 

'It’s a pretty dramatic disease; children have a sudden onset of weakness,' said Dr Messonier.

 

No specific treatment is available for AFM and interventions are generally recommended on a case-by-case basis. 

 

Children with weakness in their arms or legs may attend physical or occupational therapy.

 

The agency has confirmed 386 cases since an outbreak in Colorado in August 2014, almost all of them in children.

 

The CDC confirmed 33 AFM cases in 2017, 149 cases in 2016, 22 cases in 2015, and 120 cases in August to December 2014.

 

Of the 62 cases diagnosed this year, it known that 24 have been in three states: 10 in Illinois, eight in Texas and six in Minnesota. 

 

The states Daily Mail Online is currently aware of with confirmed cases includes: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6307323/Spike-mysterious-polio-like-disease-155-cases-inv...

 

 

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,231
Registered: ‎01-02-2015

Re: CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

This has me very concerned ....

Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

@KingstonsMom

 

This is my non-professional opinion: we haven’t bothered to “type” illnesses such as the common cold and flu ever. Why? Because they don’t (usually) kill us.

 

They have been allowed to “run their course” and the human body overcomes them.

 

Viruses need to be typed no matter what illness they are causing.  Then, they need to be tracked for mutations in their DNA.

~Have a Kind Heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit~
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,342
Registered: ‎09-10-2012

Re: CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

Me, too, @Big Joanie... with regard to my own and everyone else’s children and grandchildren. 

 

Thank you for the info, @KingstonsMom. Hope they get to the bottom of this soon. Develop a vaccine to prevent further spread. 

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,222
Registered: ‎04-16-2010

Re: CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

I heard this on the news earlier today about a ittle girl who has become paralyzed from it. She's back at home for now but has a machine to assist her breathing. She is alert and can talk. I pray that she will recover.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,021
Registered: ‎06-27-2010

Re: CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

 

               Thank you for posting this, @KingstonsMom.  I just read the Scientific American article today before I saw your thread.   It's rather long to post in full, so I'll add the link for those who wish to read it:

 

"Poliolike” Childhood Muscle-Weakening Disease Reappears"

 

 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/poliolike-childhood-muscle-weakening-disease-reappears/

 

 

⭐️Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. Howard W. Newton⭐️
Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,059
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

@dooBdoo

 

Thank you for adding additional info on this, sweet lady!Heart

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,239
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: CDC: Spike in US Mystery Polio-Like Illness

This was on our news a couple of weeks ago.  Those with real knowledge are all over this.