62 Cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis Confirmed in 22 States so far This Year: CDC

Atlanta, GA–In 2018 so far, CDC has received reports of 127 patients under investigation or PUIs.  62 cases have been confirmed as Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) in 22 states. Of the confirmed cases, the average age is about 4 years old. More than 90 percent of the cases are in children age 18 years and younger.

Since CDC started detecting the increases of AFM in 2014, there have been 386 cases reported.

AFM is a rare, but serious condition that affects the nervous system. It specifically affects the area of spinal cord called gray matter and causes muscles and reflexes to become week.

According to CDC, the poliovirus is not the cause of these AFM cases. CDC has tested every stool specimen from the AFM patients, none of the specimens have tested positive for the poliovirus. AFM can be caused by other viruses, such as enterovirus and west nile virus, environmental toxins and a condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys body tissue that it mistakes for foreign material.

“We don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of AFM,” said Nancy Messonnier, Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.  “We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care. And we know of one death in 2017 in a child that had AFM.”