HUNTINGTON, W. VA (WSAZ) – UPDATE 29.4.19 @ 18:30
A case of a rare, polio-like illness has been confirmed in West Virginia, though it's sanitary officials have not confirmed in which part of the state it was found.
The condition is referred to as acute flaccid myelitis or AFM and is a very serious condition.
It affects the nervous system, especially the part of the spinal cord that influences a person's movements. This weakens the muscles in the body.
The disease can cause debilitating symptoms, and in some cases, the paralysis was permanent.
"It's something that happens fast, it's acute," said Dr. Mitzi Payne, Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Marshall University. "A child or a person becomes very weak." It comes from a problem with the spinal cord. "What happens is the gray matter in the spinal cord, which are those neurons that control your muscle movements, that's affected." Because those affected are the patient weak. "
Health officials do not know what causes AFM specifically or what triggers it, but they believe that viruses are likely to play a role.
Symptoms of AFM include:
Most cases of AFM have been reported by children.
"Children are more likely to be ill than adults anyway, so they are more prone to getting viruses." Payne. "Your immune system is not as strong as adults, especially neurologically, so they are more prone to it."
So far, 201
In 2018, 228 AFM cases were confirmed in the US.
There is no specific treatment for AFM, but physicians may develop a plan for patients on a case-by-case basis.
Since doctors were unable to determine what causes AFM specifically, there is no prevention method. However, to avoid other viruses that could trigger the virus, ask everyone to wash their hands and get vaccinated.
"There is no need to panic as this is very, very rare," Dr. Payne. "The viruses that are thought to cause this, the viruses themselves are contagious, but that does not mean that anyone with this virus would get AFM."
Researchers are still working to better understand AFM, what causes it, and how to treat it.
In most cases, those who developed AFM had mild respiratory or fever disease consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM.
"For me, the most worrying thing is not really knowing which virus is causing this, or predicting which kid will have acute flaccid myelitis with this virus," Dr. Payne. "We know that there is a higher risk in younger children, it is more common in enterovirus and West Nile, but there are other viruses that cause it As a health care provider, the nerve-wracking part is the fact that we are not really Do something Understand why and how to do this so that we can better prevent it. "
The last two cases of AFM in West Virginia were reported in 2016.
ORIGINAL STORY 29.4.1919
The West The Department of Health and Human Resources in Virginia has confirmed a case of polio-like illness that can cause debilitating symptoms and be fatal.
The Huntington Herald Dispatch reports that this is the first confirmed case this year and only the third since the state tracked the disease in 2014. The agency did not disclose any information about the patient or the whereabouts of the patient.  The disease affects the spinal cord and brain stem. Within seven days, complete paralysis may occur. A full recovery is unusual. This is one of several cases of acute flaccid myelitis confirmed nationwide this year. Nebraska, North Carolina and Utah have also confirmed cases. Last year, there were 228 confirmed cases nationwide.