CDC confirms three cases of polio-like illness in Alabama

Nebraska’s first case of paralyzing illness confirmed in Sarpy and Cass health department’s area

Nebraska’s first case of paralyzing illness confirmed in Sarpy and Cass health department’s area

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 116 cases this year of acute flaccid myelitis, a rare polio-like condition that can lead to paralysis, the HuffPost reported.

"There is no known treatment for this disease", said Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

There are 15 cases in Colorado, the state with the highest number, followed by Texas with 14 confirmed cases. Ninety percent of cases have been in children under the age of 18, with the majority of patients between the ages of two and eight.

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.

Nationwide, the number of confirmed cases is up from early November when the CDC announced 80 confirmed cases of AFM across 25 states.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging congress to quickly fund research of a polio-like disease that's affected hundreds of children across the country.

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"As a mother and as a Senator, I am taking AFM extremely seriously".

Acute flaccid myelitis rates have spiked in recent years, mostly affecting children, and can cause paralysis. Blood and other tests are usually done to evaluate for other possible causes of the symptoms.Therefore, AFM is diagnosed by identification of the flaccid limb weakness symptoms and the MRI findings, as well as ruling out other possible causes.

The U.S. has seen an increase in AFM cases since 2014. A dozen states had only one confirmed case, according to the CDC.

In an open letter to the House and Senate committee leadership now putting together an appropriation bill, Gillibrand said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 286 suspected or confirmed cases of AFM.

If you notice a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes following a fever in your child, you need to seek medical care immediately. 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.

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