CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological 'Mystery Illness' In Kids

Enlarge this image

Enlarge this image

Typical symptoms of AFM are similar to those of a severe respiratory illness, along with a fever, but those often progress into neurological symptoms.

CNN reached out to several health departments across the country, including IL, which reported 10 cases of AFM.

Maryland health officials said their first case was reported to them September 21.

AFM is a condition that affects the nervous system and causes muscle weakness, according to the CDC. Other symptoms include facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech. Some patients may not be able to urinate.

AFM may be caused by other viruses, including enterovirus, environmental toxins and a condition in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys tissue that it mistakes for foreign material, Messonnier said: "This is a mystery so far, and we haven't solved it yet, so we have to be thinking broadly".

"This is a mystery so far", the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier said in a call Tuesday with reporters.

The outlook for patients with AFM can vary from a quick recovery to ongoing paralysis, Messonnier said. Since 2014, 386 cases have been confirmed, the CDC said on Tuesday.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) told WCCO the seventh case of accute flaccid myelitis (AFM) has been clinically diagnosed in Minnesota. 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.

Pompeo meets Erdogan after talks with Saudis on missing journalist
Officials in Turkey believe Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate, but Trump appeared to cast doubt on the explanation. And I think that's a reasonable thing to do, to give them that opportunity, and then we'll all get to judge.

Melania Trump’s plane turns back after mechanical issue
Trump was heading to Philadelphia to meet with families of children who were affected by exposure to opioids while in the womb. The trip remains on for later Wednesday and the first lady will take a different plane, Grisham said.

Trump Calls for Warren to Apologize After DNA Test Results Backfire
Elizabeth Warren wants to reclaim her Native American heritage, but President Donald Trump doesn't appear to be done with it yet. Warren tweeted that Trump is a "cowardly elitist" and she "won't sit quietly for Trump's racism" so she took the test.

The condition is not new, but officials started to see a rise in cases in 2014; and there was another spike in 2016. She also said West Nile virus hasn't been linked to any of these cases, either.

The CDC is reporting 127 patients are under investigation for acute flaccid myelitis or AFM. The CDC knows of one child who died with the disorder in 2017.

"We know this can be frightening for parents, and I know many parents want to know what signs and symptoms they should be looking out for in their children", Messonnier said.

The agency knows that poliovirus is not the cause of these cases, because CDC has tested every single stool specimen from patients, and none have tested positive for poliovirus.

Boston Children's Hospital has evaluated all of the confirmed and suspected AFM cases that occurred in MA this year. "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now".

The CDC says there are preventive measures people can take to reduce the risk of infections that could lead to AFM.

The CDC is actively investigating and monitoring disease activity and recommends taking standard prevention measures such as hand-washing, protecting oneself from mosquito bites and staying up-to-date on vaccinations.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.