CDC Investigates 4 Possible Cases Of Rare, Polio-like Illness In Michigan

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Health experts described it as a rare polio-like disease. "It does not seem that most children are recovered completely". According to its website, from August 2014 through September 2018 there have been a total of 386 confirmed cases of AFM in the United States.

The disease, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a sub-type of another rare but serious neurological illness called acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), according to Dr. Adam Kassam, a senior resident physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Western University. A rare condition that affects the nervous system and results in symptoms similar to polio.

The toddler had one of the classic symptoms of the illness that usually affects the spinal cord, and often follows a viral infection: sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs.

Michigan has no confirmed cases but state health officials are investigating suspected cases originating in Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Ottawa counties, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said.

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During an information briefing, the Director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier said, despite extensive laboratory testing, they don't know what causes the arm or leg weakness and paralysis in most patients. Environmental toxins or a condition where the body's immune system attacks and destroys body tissue, could also be factors. If you notice this, please bring your child to the nearest emergency department immediately. "Don't share drinks. Don't be around anyone who is sick". Supportive care is very important. After over a month in the hospital, Abigail is back home in Columbus continuing physical therapy.

Doctors and researchers don't know how or why AFM shows up in children or why cases occur in the late summer and fall. As we learn more about AFM, we will be able to develop better strategies to prevent and treat this condition.

"If we don't know what causes it, we don't know how to treat it", Dr. Vogel said.

Once someone is diagnosed with AFM, what are the prospects for recovery?

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