Paralyzing Polio-like illness on the rise

U.S. & World

NEW YORK (NBC News) More cases of the polio-like virus Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, have been reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is investigating 127 possible cases of AFM in 22 states.

So far 62 cases have been confirmed.

Doctors have suspected the condition may be related to a virus, but they’ve been unable to pin down any one thing linking all of the cases.

Cases have peaked every other year since 2014. It’s a pattern that has so far stumped public health officials. 

“We’re looking really broadly at any possible cause, so we’re looking at anything that might be causing the AFM because our earlier investigations haven’t revealed the cause,” says the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonier.

While the condition is extremely rare, parents are urged to seek medical care if their children experience sudden weakness in their arms or legs.

More than 90 percent of cases reported this year have been in children 18 and younger.


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