127 cases of polio-like illness under investigation, CDC says

127 cases of polio-like illness under investigation, CDC says

127 cases of polio-like illness under investigation, CDC says

One child has died of the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 62 cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a rare, polio-like condition that causes weakness in the arms or legs, across 22 states.

Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is a condition that affects the nervous system, particularly the spinal cord.

WATCH: Six children from Minnesota have been diagnosed with a rare condition that causes weakness or even paralysis in the arms and legs. Most of the cases are in children under the age of 19, with kids under the age of 4 appearing to make up the biggest portion of cases. Additional symptoms include facial drooping or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech.

In addition to viruses, potential causes may include environmental toxins and genetic disorders, according to the CDC, and it "can be hard to diagnose because it shares numerous same symptoms as other neurologic diseases".

According to the Douglas County Health Department, a suspected case of AFM is being investigated in a young child. West Nile virus is also not a culprit, she said.

Once diagnosed, some patients have recovered quickly, but some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care, Messonnier said. On Saturday, Sputnik reported on the worrisome number of 38 cases of the unusual syndrome, which affects the spinal cord. The CDC says an outbreak in 2014 seemed to coincide with an outbreak of enterovirus D68, however the virus wasn't found in every AFM patient.

According to the CDC, the number of patients with AFM symptoms increases each year in August and September.

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A mysterious polio-like syndrome that attacks primarily children, causing paralysis and muscle weakness, has continued to spread across the USA, with 127 reported cases this year - up from just 38 earlier this week.

"There is a lot we don't know about AFM, and I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts", she said, "we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness".

To give parents, healthcare workers, and public health officials a look at what to expect, she said the CDC will report suspected cases this year, as well as confirmed ones.

Benjamin Greenberg, a neurologist who has treated children with AFM at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, said AFM is "exquisitely rare". Several cases have been linked to enteroviruses or other germs, but officials have not been able to find a cause for the majority of the cases.

"We want to see that education", he said, "in order to have early recognition and detection".

The CDC received information on 33 confirmed cases of AFM across 16 states in 2017, 149 cases in 39 states.

People can protect themselves from contracting AFM using methods similar to preventing getting the flu, Ellerin said.

There is no treatment specifically for AFM, but affected children can undergo physical and occupational therapy to maximize their strength and adapt to their limitations. Fifteen states said they'd confirmed cases this year.

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