Spike reported nationwide in cases of baffling paralysis in children

And for now, it's hard to say if 2018 will equal or surpass spikes seen in 2014 and 2016, Messonnier said, adding that state and federal health officials haven't finished the whole diagnostic algorithm for numerous cases reported over the past several weeks.

The CDC says pediatric acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is now affecting young children in 22 states following a recent spike in Minnesota.

However, officials have not been able to identify the cause of most of the AFM cases, or the reason for the spikes in 2014, 2016 and now 2018. Outbreaks are most common from August to October, and over 90 percent of the cases have involved children under 18 years old, with the average age of those inflicted standing at just 4 years old.

"Despite a lot of investigation by CDC and our partners, AFM remains a mystery disease", said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases for the CDC.

20, the CDC had confirmed 38 cases in 16 states, which aren't required to report AFM cases to the CDC.

AFM is a condition that affects the nervous system and causes muscle weakness, according to the CDC.

Acute flaccid myelitis can be caused by viruses, such as polio or West Nile. Despite extensive laboratory and other testing, CDC has not been able to find the cause for the majority of the cases. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it focuses on "the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, and the muscles and reflexes in the body become weak". Symptoms include neck weakness or stiffness, drooping eyelids or a facial droop and difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.

State and national health authorities are raising the alarm about a polio-like "mystery illness" that has left dozens of children with paralysis and other symptoms in MA and 21 other states.

Trump threatens to cut US aid to Honduras over immigrant caravan
The group was ultimately able to cross, said march organizer Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran lawmaker. According to the Reuters report, 64 percent of Honduran households live in poverty.

"As we work to better understand what's causing AFM, parents can help protect their children by washing your hands, staying up to date on recommended vaccines and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites", Messonnier said.

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.

The CDC said it doesn't know how long symptoms of the disease will last for patients. In 2016, there were 149 cases.

Officials said some people diagnosed with the illness recover quickly while others need ongoing care. The CDC knows of one child who died with the disorder in 2017.

In total, CNN found 47 confirmed cases and 49 more that were suspected or being investigated, for a total of 96.

In some individuals, health officials have determined that the condition was from infection with a type of virus that causes severe respiratory illness.

That's up from 22 people who were said to have it in 2015. The agency had a teleconference with health providers slated for later today, and it provided a toolkit for diagnosing AFM, along with instructions for reporting suspected cases. But some state health departments have been making public their reported cases.

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