Thursday, 15 November, 2018

US CDC confirms 62 cases of rare polio-like neurological condition

Five kids in Maryland may have a polio-like disease, as CDC investigates CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological 'Mystery Illness' In Kids
Johnnie Parks | 18 October, 2018, 19:16

So far, 2016 was the worst year, with 149 confirmed cases. "The data we are reporting today is a substantially larger number than in previous months this year", she said. But the long-term effects are still unknown.

So far, viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders are all possible causes for the spike.

Officials at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City said two cases of AFM have been confirmed at the hospital. Maryland's first case was reported September 21. The CDC said AFM is still very much a mystery, but it's working to solve it.

Despite the recent spike in reported cases of AFM, Messonnier underscored that the disease is "incredibly rare" and has been diagnosed annually at a rate of less than one in a million since 2014.

Dr. Messonnier said, "We want to encourage parents to seek medical care right away if you or your child develops symptoms of AFM, such as sudden weakness and loss of muscle tone in your arms or legs".

"While some patients have recovered rapidly, others have remain paralyzed and require a high level of ongoing care to support their breathing and monitor for neurological deterioration", he said.

It's a rare disease, but the CDC thought that they might glean more about the nature of the outbreak, as well as clues about how to contain it, by releasing a report to the public. Those officials are probing another 65 illnesses in those states. He can hit them with an electric shock akin to touching a auto battery, he says, but they do not move.

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"Our medical team has been reviewing vaccine records when available during this year's investigation and do not see a correlation", said CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund. "A doctor can also do an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to look at a patient's brain and spinal cord, do lab tests on the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid around the brain and spinal cord), and may check nerve conduction (impulse sent along a nerve fiber) and response", officials say.

Other enteroviruses have also been found in patients with AFM. But Messonnier said that, in general, parents can help protect their children from diseases by washing their hands, making sure their children are up to date with vaccinations and applying insect repellent to protect against mosquito bites, which can spread viruses.

There is no treatment specifically for AFM, but affected children can undergo physical and occupational therapy to maximize their strength and adapt to their limitations.

AFM appears to target children at around age 4.

Messonnier did not address enterovirus D68 directly during the news conference and said the CDC has not yet had time to fully analyze the cases from this summer and fall.

Asked about the discrepancy between the CDC's report of 22 states versus CNN's report of 30 states with cases, Messonnier said, "the 22 states that we're reporting are the states that have confirmed cases".

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