Multiple cases of rare polio-like illness under investigation in North Carolina

A Mysterious Polio Like Illness Is on the Rise in Kids. Scientists Don't Know Why

A Mysterious Polio Like Illness Is on the Rise in Kids. Scientists Don't Know Why

In AFM, the gray matter of the spinal cord gets damaged, leading to muscle weakness and paralysis.

One thing scientists do know is that only one person in a million is infected with AFM each year in the United States.

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". The pattern appears to be repeating this year.

The mysterious increase in cases of AFM, as it's called, was first spotted in the late summer and autumn of 2014.

Parents should seek immediate medical care for kids exhibiting AFM symptoms, Messonnier said at the press conference, according to STAT.

At this point, health officials are not sure what causes AFM but say that it can occur after a viral infection, West Nile Virus and other illnesses. Some with AFM will feel weakness in their arms or legs, a loss of muscle tone or slower reflexes.

On the CDC's website, it lists symptoms of the disease, which include facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech.

MA has seen a total of 16 confirmed cases in children since 2014, plus one probable case in an adult.

"We followed our children for over a year", Dominguez said.

"There is a lot we don't know about AFM, and I'm frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness", Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters, according to STAT.

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Messonnier called it a "pretty dramatic disease". "At this time, the exact causes or source of this disease is unknown".

Katy Payne, a mother from IL, who was interviewed, said about her daughter: "I took her to the ER because she turned blue".

Besides viruses, officials are also considering environmental toxins as a possible cause, but so far, they have no evidence that a particular toxin is behind the cases.

None of the cases examined tested positive for poliovirus and it has been confirmed not to be a cause of these AFM cases.

"Early intervention is definitely always helpful".

"Treatment options are quite limited", he said.

Some patients recover completely, while others continue to struggle with muscle weakness.

"If you see symptoms, like, they are saying their arms are hurting or they are not using them and everything, just come to the emergency room", Faircloth said. He suffered paralysis and had to be put on a ventilator. "We don't fully understand the long-term consequences of AFM", Ms Messonnier said.

Now 3 years old, Hunter has slowly recovered.

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