The viruses that are accounted to cause AFM may be contagious from one person to another or may be spread by a mosquito or other vector depending on which virus causes the AFM. Only one case has been confirmed this year, but officials are still investigating the latest possible cases.
"As AFM affects mostly children and has no known cure, it is imperative that CDC conduct an expedited investigation and response to AFM infections".
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"Oftentimes, despite extensive lab tests, the cause of a patient's AFM is not identified", the CDC says.
- The number of cases of a rare polio-like virus are growing across the United States and six of those cases have been reported in Minnesota. A medical report detailing the case of a 12-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with AFM noted that caring for patients with AFM often means involving an infectious disease physician, a neurologist, an orthotist, physical therapist and a speech therapist. Most said parents can do is encouraging kids to wash their hands, teaching them to cover their mouths with their elbow when they cough or sneeze, and keep them home if they are sick.
"There are cases of good recovery and good potential for good healing", said Sinner.
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"The state health department has been monitoring this situation closely since early spring". "So we've seen that there's an association between viruses, specifically enterovirus, in the past".
"But just because you catch the virus from somebody that developed AFM, doesn't mean that you will also develop AFM", Dr. Meade explained.
Colorado has previously had outbreaks of the less-common enterovirus types.
According to the Washington Department of Health, the children are being evaluated for acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare condition that affects a person's nervous system and can cause paralysis. In 2017 there were three cases, and since the beginning of 2018 there has been one case in the state.
Several cases have already been found in Minnesota and Iowa.
The CDC must review case information to confirm the cases under observation in Pittsburgh, a process which could take a few weeks, Scarpino said.