A polio-like disease that has mysteriously affected and sometimes paralyzed at least 500 people may spread to the US over the next few years, medical researchers in at least 46 states fear in the last four years. According to the CDC, over 90 percent of those suffering from the disease are children.
Since the CDC began research into the disease in 2014, the AFM has been rippling and infecting far more people in 2016 and 2018 than in 2015 and 2017.
Some researchers are now worried that the The Dallas Morning News says the disease could return by force in 2020.
The CDC has so far confirmed 182 cases of AFM this year. The most common outbreaks occurred in summer and autumn.
Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Vaccinations and Respiratory Diseases, said in a teleconference with reporters last month that the CDC was still not sure where they came from. "It may be one of the viruses we've already discovered," Messonnier said. "It could be a virus we have not discovered yet. Or it could be that the virus triggers another process and is actually triggered by an autoimmune process. "
In most cases, AFM starts with cold symptoms and usually develops into paralysis within a week. Like Polio, AFM only causes paralysis in some patients.
Viruses known as Enterovirus A71
"It's impossible to say if we have any real answers [by 2020] because this is a complex public health challenge," said epidemiologist Thomas A. Clark, who led the CDC response to AFM Dallas Morning News. "Unless we fully understand what is causing AFM, we can not help protect people from it."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has requested $ 1 billion in funding for the newly formed CDC Task Force, which he hopes will prepare for another possible outbreak.