The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says it is investigating a fifth suspected case of acute flaccid myelitis, the rare, polio-like illness that causes muscle weakness and paralysis. It's characterized by sudden, asymmetric weakness in the arms or legs.
The CDC announced this week that there have been 62 confirmed cases in 22 states, with OH being one of them. The other 93 cases are still under investigation.
Last week, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said 90 percent of the cases involved children 18 years old or younger with an average age of 4 years old, and no deaths related to the condition have been reported this year. However, the number of patients now under investigation for the rare condition has risen in the last week, up from 127.
Cases of a rare polio-like illness causing weakness and paralysis in US children are also on the rise in Canada, one doctor is warning. CDC has been actively investigating AFM and continues to receive information about suspected AFM cases.
"Overall, the rate of AFM over the years that it has been diagnosed, which is since 2014, is less than one in a million", she said. By then, the body may have cleared the infection itself and tests may not turn up any specific viral cause. But in a majority of cases, the cause is unknown. The most severe symptom is respiratory failure.
All four of her children had come down with a cold at the same time, but young Abigail's condition continued to worsen despite her mother's best efforts to keep her kids healthy.
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Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM remains a very rare condition. In 2016, there were 149 cases.
Venkateswaran said that in 2014 there were a number of cases across Canada, but the disease stopped spreading in the fall. Based on this history, CDC experts believe the 2018 numbers will be similar. Brain Institute and at Children's Health told Dallas News.
"We want to see that education", he comments, "in order to have early recognition and detection".
Messonnier suggested seeking medical attention right away if you or your child develops symptoms of AFM, such as "sudden weakness and loss of muscle tone" in arms or legs.
"While we don't know the cause of most of the AFM cases, it's always important to practice disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands, and protecting yourself from mosquito bites", the CDC said.