Paralyzing polio-like illness mainly affecting children confirmed in 22 states, CDC says

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CDC reported Tuesday that 127 confirmed or suspected cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare condition that primarily affects children and can cause paralysis, have been reported in the United States as of October 16. According to CDC’s Nancy Messonnier, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states.

CDC reported Tuesday that 127 confirmed or suspected cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare condition that primarily affects children and can cause paralysis, have been reported in the United States as of October 16. According to CDC’s Nancy Messonnier, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states. “We understand that people, particularly parents, are concerned about AFM,” said Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She added, “There is a lot we don’t know about AFM, and I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven’t been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness.” As it is not yet clear how the disease spreads, federal health officials are now counting suspected cases in addition to confirmed to help them better anticipate any increases. Messonnier noted that the new data represents “a substantially larger number than in previous months this year.” She also stressed that it is a rare condition, affecting less than 1 in 1 million individuals younger than age 18 years; but she said federal health officials hope to increase awareness of the symptoms to make sure parents seek prompt medical care if their children have a sudden onset of weakness or loss of muscle tone in their limbs.

Paralyzing polio-like illness mainly affecting children confirmed in 22 states, CDC says

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