A mysterious illness that causes pathological and even crippling children warns health officials this week to seek medical help immediately when someone develops their symptoms
Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), an extremely rare but serious disease Nervous system and the weakness of the muscles and reflexes of the body are increasing throughout the country, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.
Despite this worry, there are many uncertainties about polio. like illness, including what causes it and why it affects children more than adults. "More than 90 percent of the cases are in children under the age of 1
"Despite extensive laboratory studies, we have not determined which pathogen or immune response causes arm or leg weakness and paralysis in most patients," she said.
Viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders are among the suspected causes of the disease, which often starts with fever, respiratory problems and muscle weakness. To prevent the spread of the disease, the CDC recommends thorough hand washing, vaccinations and the use of mosquito repellent to prevent bites.
The long-term effects are not known and the results varied for the patients, some recovering quickly and some having persistent paralysis and needing continued care. There was a confirmed death last year, the CDC said Tuesday.
Robin Roberts of Richmond, Virginia, spoke with NBC News about the death of her 5-year-old son, Carter, last month after he was paralyzed by his nose over the disease in 2016.
"I think I would tell parents to be alert, look up, you know, arms or legs does not work, that slipper head, the respiratory symptoms that are not consistent with other basic diseases, "she said.
According to the CDC, the number of patients with AFM symptoms increases each year in August and September. This year, 62 cases were confirmed in 22 states.
The number of confirmed cases is increasing since the end of 2014, when there were 120 confirmed cases in 34 states from August to December
The following year, there were 22 confirmed cases in 17 states, and in 2016 there were 149 cases in 39 jurisdictions, including DC. In 2017, there were 33 confirmed cases in 16 states. In the US, there were 386 confirmed cases since August 2014.
"As a parent, I understand what it's like to be afraid to have your child, and parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases we're seeing now," Messonnier said. "We recommend seeking immediate medical attention if you or your child develop a sudden weakness of the arms or legs."