He also said probably only the most severe cases are being reported. Across the U.S., dozens of healthy children are coming into emergency departments, unable to move their arms and legs. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.October 25, 2018 / 8:40 PM GMTBy Maggie FoxThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it doesn't know what's causing a sudden rise in cases of a frightening, polio-like condition that leaves children paralyzed or with weakened limbs.The No. 1 suspect had been a virus called enterovirus D68, or EV-D68.
Nationwide, a total of 155 cases are being investigated. This number could increase as the authorities are still carrying out the investigations of the reported cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, additional symptoms to arm or leg weakness could be facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing or slurred speech. The average age of those affected is 4. So far, some children have made full recoveries while others have improved only partially or very little.
The CDC has still not figured out what causes AFM, or who is most at risk of contracting the condition.
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"I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness", said Messonnier.
The CDC received information on 33 confirmed cases of AFM in 2017, 149 cases in 2016, 22 cases in 2015, and 120 cases in the latter part of 2014.
Some experts believe AFM is being caused by a summertime virus because of the timing of the outbreaks. The CDC is also exploring environmental toxins or genetic factors as a possibility.
"The good news that parents can take away, for now, is that it's very rare", Bhargava says. However, not every case has always been followed by a cold.
Hand hygiene - be sure to wash your hands and your children's hands. The vast majority of people who catch these viruses will suffer only mild respiratory infections or stomach bugs. And if you're sick, stay home. "It could just be a virus that is causing it".