Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Cases of rare, polio-like illness confirmed in Ohio, Pennsylvania

Cases of rare, polio-like illness confirmed in Ohio, Pennsylvania

She announced the numbers in a Tuesday media briefing. Since then, there have been more than 350 confirmed cases of the sickness. The CDC would not release a list of the states reporting probable or confirmed cases.

There is no specific treatment for the disorder, and long-term outcomes are unknown. "You can't imagine the amount of suffering these kids have in their lives".

"The data on the recently reported cluster of cases of AFM will have to be carefully evaluated to better understand the role of EV-D68 in this new outbreak".

Another wave hit in 2016, with 149 patients affected in 39 states.

In most cases, the patient's arms or legs become weak, similar to the results of infection with polio. Viruses that can cause the disease include poliovirus, non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses and West Nile virus. He is an assistant professor and child neurologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The rare AFM condition mostly presents in children but so far a cause or consistent patient pathogen has alluded doctors. Samples from some patients revealed the presence of enteroviruses, but others had been infected with a rhinovirus. Because AFM is so rare and has several potential causes, it would be hard for a company to make money on a vaccine, Messacar says. "I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness". It attacks the spinal cord and nervous system and causes weakness or temporary paralysis in the arms and legs.

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About 90 percent of the cases are children who have suffered muscle weakness or paralysis, including in the face, neck, back or limbs.

The most serious complication of AFM is respiratory failure.

They also know that all six children developed the disease around the same time.

As with any illness, parents should take their child into a doctor for treatment. Kerkering said the typical season for the illness has just begun.

Messonnier said it was important for parents and clinicians to remember that this is a rare condition, affecting less than one in 1 million children under 18. So while it is a scary condition, it is also extremely rare and affects less than one in every million people in the United States - even with the spike in cases. AFM may be one of them. Officials would not say what states they lived in, but cases have been reported in New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington. But Messonnier said that, in general, parents can help protect their children from diseases by washing their hands, making sure their children are up to date with vaccinations and applying insect repellent to protect against mosquito bites, which can spread viruses. In particular, the condition can cause weakness in the arms and legs along with loss of muscle tone and problems with reflexes.

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