Health Department: 7th Case Of AFM Diagnosed In Minnesota

18 October, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Denise Dawson

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of 127 patients under investigation for acute flaccid myelitis this year.

MA has seen a total of 16 confirmed cases in children since 2014, plus one probable case in an adult. CDC officials added that while they have not seen any geographical clustering, they have seen seasonal clustering, with most cases occurring in the late summer and fall, dating back to when the CDC first noticed an uptick in the illness in 2014.

Standardized surveillance was established in 2015 to monitor this illness and attempt to estimate the baseline incidence.

The increase in cases appeared to begin in 2014, when the CDC started tracking the illness.

"We know this can be frightening for parents, and I know many parents want to know what signs and symptoms they should be looking out for in their children", she said. The highest number of cases took place in 2016, when 149 were reported cases in 39 states.

And despite the resemblance to polio, officials have ruled out poliovirus as a cause of the illnesses.

The CDC is actively investigating the cases and working with healthcare providers as well as state and local health departments to spread the word about AFM.

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The CDC referred calls to individual state health departments. Only one death has been reported, which involved an AFM illness reported in 2017. Despite extensive laboratory and other testing, CDC has been unable to find the cause for the majority of the cases. But mysteriously no other country has reported the emerging every-two-years pattern seen in the U.S., Messonnier said.

Acute flaccid myelitis, also called AFM, is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system and causes the muscles and reflexes to suddenly become weak, she said Tuesday. "Right now, we know that poliovirus is not the cause of these AFM cases". Some patients have tested positive for enterovirus or rhinovirus. "Parents need to know that AFM is rare even with the increase in cases we are seeing now". But federal officials said that those viruses have not been linked to the USA outbreak over the past four years.

"We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care", Messonnier said, noting how most have a "sudden onset of weakness".

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. No one finding can explain all the cases, she said.

Dr. Leslie Benson, assistant director of Children's pediatric neuroimmunology program, said AFM patients show a wide spectrum of symptoms.

Asked about the discrepancy between the CDC's report of 22 states versus CNN's report of 30 states with cases, Messonnier said, "the 22 states that we're reporting are the states that have confirmed cases".



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