CDC confirms three cases of polio-like illness in Alabama

Three-year-old Carter Abernathy is among the dozens of patients across the country who have been diagnosed with AFM

CDC confirms three cases of polio-like illness in Alabama

Another case reported in Douglas County as likely being acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, was dismissed after a thorough review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We're trying to figure out what are the exact triggers that would cause someone to develop AFM". Last month, the number of suspected cases was at 155.

AFM is a condition that mostly affects young children, with 90% of the cases in this recent outbreak affecting those under the age of 18. "I'm sure if I provide the data to each senator about how many cases they have in their state, they'll be made more aware about how serious this is, and how anxious parents are." . "There is still a lot to learn about AFM and more study is needed".

Last year, one person died from AFM in the US.

Confirmed cases of AFM by state from January 1, 2018, through November 23, 2018. There is no known cause or treatment for this disease. It's believed that viruses like polio, West Nile, and various enteroviruses (which cause the common cold) may be linked to AFM.

The above graphic shows how AFM affects the nervous system

The CDC is still investigating another 170 potential cases of AFM, which has infected children across 31 states. As the number of cases of AFM continue to rise, Gillibrand calls on the Senate to do the same for this serious disease to help protect all children from AFM.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, but a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in treating brain and spinal cord illnesses, may recommend interventions on a case-by-case basis. The CDC has a responsibility to give them answers. Cases are still quite rare, however - fewer than 1 in a million children are affected.

The officials said that parents can try to prevent the disease by making their kids regularly wash their hands, keep them up to date on their vaccinations, and spray them with insect repellent when they go outdoors to prevent mosquito bites.

Symptoms can be similar to those associated with polio virus and West Nile and include facial and eyelid drooping, facial weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, sudden limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the arms or legs.

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