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

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of 127 patients with symptoms of the disease this year. It's very new, it's emerging.

At the press conference, Messonnier emphasized how rare the disease is. It tends to develop in children more than adults. "The hallmark is sudden onset of weakness in the arms or the legs".

There is no known cause or treatment, a state Department of Public Health advisory said.

Besides viruses, officials are also considering environmental toxins as a possible cause, but so far, they have no evidence that a particular toxin is behind the cases.

In most cases, the patient's arms or legs become weak, similar to the results of infection with polio.

Messonnier said that the CDC has neither a clear idea of who might be at higher risk of developing the disease nor why.

Pardo-Villamizar said, "We don't know if the virus is attacking directly the spinal cord, or if the immune response against the virus is producing the damage to the spinal cord". "You can't tie it up in a neat bow". Of these, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states. There have now been a total of 386 confirmed cases since 2014.

A rare but scary complication from a virus has left more than 60 children with a polio-like paralysis. But some states have previously announced clusters, including Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, New York and Washington. The average age of the children is about 4, and 90 percent of the cases involve children 18 and younger, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told NPR in a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday. In 2017, one person died of AFM.

So far, the CDC has found no relationship between vaccines and children diagnosed with AFM from the 2014 cases.

Lacking an established cause, health officials confirm cases through a review of brain scans and symptoms. But federal officials said that those viruses have not been linked to the US outbreak over the past four years.

They also know that all six children developed the disease around the same time. This year is one of them.

Cases have been reported in 22 states, including some in our area.

There's no way to determine which child will development AFM, according to Glatter. "I think another thing for people to remember is just the perspective", Dr. John Williams, of UPMC Children's Hospital, said. "The search for a biomarker from the blood or cerebrospinal fluid would be helpful to identify those at elevated risk". "So we can provide supportive therapy and make sure that there are no complications".

More broadly, she noted, "there is a lot we don't know about AFM".

"It's very rare, " he added. CDC experts say the overall rate of AFM is about one in a one million.

"You see your child, who likes to run and play", she said. "A respiratory illness or a viral illness and then it's the development of a sudden weakness", said Berbari.

Ehresmann also noted that now that school is in session and cold weather months are coming, it's more crucial than ever that people maintain strict hygiene habits.

Vanessa Coleman

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