U.S. CDC confirms 62 cases of rare polio-like neurological condition

Officials at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City said two cases of AFM have been confirmed at the hospital.

First recognized in 2014, AFM remains mysterious.

Roughly 90 percent of the cases so far have involved children, who suffer from muscle weakness or paralysis that impacts face, neck, back or limbs.

The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily. Although it is too early to understand how the current season compares to previous ones, she noted, the nation is "on track with what was seen in 2014 and 2016" and will probably have the same number of cases.

One case of the rare, polio-like disease acute flaccid myelitis has been confirmed in Oklahoma, officials say.

CDC There have been 386 confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis in the USA since 2014. The average age of affected patients is just four.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, updated the media and public via a conference call on Tuesday. But she stressed that despite the increase in cases, the illness is still very rare, occurring in fewer than 1 in a million people in the USA each year.

She emphasized the AFM cases are very rare, affecting 1 in 1 million people, and the condition is not caused by poliovirus, though symptoms can be similar to polio.

Some victims have been infected with viruses, but researchers have been unable to identify a single virus responsible for all cases.

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The group wrote that the cell line they developed could be used to further explore EV-D68 genetic factors associated with neurologic effects, adding that replication in the cell line could be used to rapidly screen for neurotropic EV-D68 strains. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 62 cases this year and a total of 386 since 2014. In the CDC's health warning the organisation said at least 65 other patients are being assessed after they displayed symptoms of the malady. Some possible suspects, such as polio and West Nile virus, have been ruled out.

Once diagnosed, some patients have recovered quickly, but some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care, Messonnier said.

There is no specific treatment for the disorder, and long-term outcomes are unknown.

"Most of the cases that CDC has learned about have been in children", said the CDC.

The CDC is actively investigating and monitoring disease activity and recommends taking standard prevention measures such as hand-washing, protecting oneself from mosquito bites and staying up-to-date on vaccinations.

Boston Children's Hospital has evaluated all of the confirmed and suspected AFM cases that occurred in MA this year.

What are the symptoms of AFM?

One child died from AFM in 2017. Also, she said there can be lags in reporting because of the time it takes to review a patient's clinical syndrome and radiographic findings.

"It seems most likely that the virus infects the motor nerves in the spinal column", Benson said.

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