CDC: Kids In 22 States Sickened By ‘Mystery Disease’

Another wave hit in 2016, with 149 patients affected in 39 states.

Parents and clinicians should remember that this is a rare condition, affecting less than one in a million people, she said.

In the most severe cases, the muscles that control breathing are weakened to the point the patient requires ventilator. CDC has tested many different specimens from patients with this condition for a wide range of pathogens, or germs, that can cause AFM. Officials would not say what states they lived in, but cases have been reported in New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington.

The CDC says it seems to be following an every other year pattern that emerges in the fall. That pattern appears to be repeating this year.

The number of confirmed cases has been on the rise since late 2014, when there were 120 confirmed cases from August to December in 34 states. Health officials are alarmed and frustrated, because a specific cause hasn't been identified.

While there have been cases of AFM in other countries, the particular pattern of seasonal outbreaks has only been recorded in the United States, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on Tuesday.

There is also no official cause which means no definite form of treatment, something Roanoke mother Brittany Hoff knows too well after she said her son was diagnosed. None of the US patients tested positive for polio, a crippling and often deadly disease which was eliminated in this country thanks to the polio vaccine.

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There is now no cure for AFM, known cause in most cases, or clear explanation for why some people who contract the enterovirus experience symptoms and others do not. Alarming symptoms consist of sudden, onset paralysis of a limb. Symptoms include muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, problems swallowing, and slurred speech. We did swimming to help him as well.

AFM affects the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing arms and legs to suddenly grow weak, sometimes leading to paralysis, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

All of the worries about AFM just give parents and grandparents one more thing to worry about. Neurologists may suggest treatments on a case-by-case basis. Doctors are also urging that vaccines be kept up to date.

"So we're very lucky that he had (physical therapy) through early intervention".

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

What can be done to prevent AFM?

"We understand that people, particularly parents, are concerned about AFM", she said.

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