U.S. health authorities are examining an outbreak of a strange, polio-like illness that triggers weakness in several limbs. The unusual illness– acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM– has infected 62 people, primarily kids, in 22 states, currently, this year and is suspected in 65 more cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed October 16.
Starting with a break out of 120 cases that brought the disease to international attention in 2014, almost 400 cases have actually been confirmed in the United States. So far, the CDC has actually been not able to find out what’s triggering the outbreaks. “This is a mystery,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in Atlanta, stated on a news broadcast. “We haven’t solved it yet.”
Although the illness is frightening, less than one in a million cases are reported in the United States are diagnosed with AFM every year, based upon CDC information gathered since 2014 “Parents need to know that acute flaccid myelitis is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we’re seeing now,” she stated. Even so, the CDC suggests that people who establish any unexpected weakness in their arms or legs should seek immediate medical attention.
AFM targets the spinebegin with a fever and respiratory disease prior to unexpectedly losing the ability to move one, or more of their limbs. The paralysis can intensify rapidly, which is why medical professionals advise getting treatment at the very first indication of uncommon limb weakness.
The CDC is examining infections and ecological contaminants as possible causes, however, is yet to discover a singular pathogen or agent to be held accountable for the peaks in cases this year and in 2014 and 2016 (when 149 cases were validated). Infections with viruses such as West Nile Virus (WNV), adenovirus, poliovirus, and non-polio enteroviruses have actually presented with matching symptoms to that of AFM, the CDC states. However, screening has actually revealed that the U.S. cases because 2014 have NOT been brought on by poliovirus.
There is no antidote or particular medical treatment for AFM. Doctors will attempt to alleviate symptoms and might advise physical or occupational treatment for muscle weakness or functional degeneration.
The illness tends to appear in the tail-end of summer and fall. Some patients who are diagnosed with AFM recover; however numerous others have actually continued weak limb weakness and require continuous treatment.
If you, or your child present with any of the above symptoms, please contact your doctor.