The "polio-like" disease that paralyzes children seems to be "non-communicable," said the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Acute flaccid Myletis (AFM)" not Dr. Robert Redfield said it was not human-to-human. "Clustering in family" is not shown.
"The CDC has been working very hard since 2014 to understand the causes and aetiology. If we sit here today, we have no understanding of the cause, "said Redfield in an interview with CBS. "As you know, we continue to strive to improve our efforts by seeking out this in partnership with state and territorial health departments and academic experts."
The CDC has confirmed 72 cases of Acute Flaccid Myletis (AFM). So far in 24 states this year.
At least 1
The disease has caused panic among parents in the United States – children have been shown to have symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection quickly before the illness, they were weak or paralyzed.
Since the first outbreak of AFM in 2014 – which was linked to enterovirus D-68 by the CDC – there was an outbreak every two years with a maximum number of cases between August and October.
The causes of the trend outbreaks are unclear – and the number of cases may be more widespread than reported according to experts, due to inadequate test protocols and voluntary reporting.
Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, a neurologist at UT Southwestern and Children's Health in Dallas, suggests that either a single virus in a family of viruses causes the outbreaks. He suspects that EV-D68 is a major cause of AFM, although it is difficult to determine due to inconsistent protocols and reporting.
Redfield said he had "re-summoned a task force" to analyze the specifics of AFM and "solve the problem."
"I think this is a new incident in the United States, the AFM, ours – our suspicion is that it is caused by a single agent, which is the predominant disease we are facing right now," he said.
"We are trying to get a very solid group of individuals that we believe are having this new mysterious syndrome, with which we can try to understand the aetiology."