Health Care

Mysterious paralyzing illness found among kids in 22 states

Mysterious paralyzing illness found among kids in 22 states”

The average age of the patients in all confirmed cases over the past five years is just 4 years old, and more than 90% of the cases overall occur in children 18 and younger, according to analysis of cases reported in recent years.

A sharp spike in cases of pediatric acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is raising red flags with health officials, who despite concerted efforts, haven't identified a cause.

So far, the CDC has found no relationship between vaccines and children diagnosed with AFM from the 2014 cases.

Across the US there were 38 confirmed cases in 16 states this year through September 30, according to the CDC.

"We understand that people, particularly parents, are concerned", said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director for the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a teleconference call with reporters. It is a rare, but serious condition - fewer than one in a million Americans will get AFM every year, the CDC estimates.

The spikes were significantly higher in 2014, 2016 and 2018-to-date than in 2015 or 2017.

Data collected since the establishment of standardized surveillance helped with the identification of another increase in reports nationally during 2016 and has provided additional valuable information on the clinical presentation to help better characterize the clinical features, epidemiology, and short-term outcomes of cases of AFM.

And despite the resemblance to polio, officials have ruled out poliovirus as a cause of the illnesses. Another kind of virus was found in only some of the cases.

AFM is a rare condition that affects the nervous system, causing muscle weakness. Symptoms are sudden arm or leg weakness, difficulty moving facial muscles, slurred speech and trouble swallowing. It's also important to note that the number of known or suspected cases is small, so the odds of contracting the illness are extremely low. What happens to patients down the line is unclear; some recover quickly, while others may need long-term care.

Parents have reported that the limbs of affected children appear lifeless.

There have been no confirmed cases of AFM in Maine this year, according to Emily Spencer, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine CDC.

For example, the CDC doesn't know who may be at higher risk for developing AFM or why some are at higher risk, she said. The disease is being called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, and although researchers suspect that it's caused by a virus, no virus has yet been discovered that's associated with the condition.

More broadly, she noted, "there is a lot we don't know about AFM".

About 120 confirmed cases were reported in 2014. No pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid.

States are reporting their cases to the CDC, Messonnier said.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


17 October 2018
Audi settles diesel probe for €800m, 'admits responsibility'
Munich has hit Audi with an 800 million euro (about $926 million) fine, the automaker said in an announcement today. At Audi itself, former Chief Executive Rupert Stadler was removed from his post by VW earlier this month .

17 October 2018
Cannabis is legal: A look across Canada as marijuana prohibition ends
Some started growing licensed medicinal pot in 2001 and have transitioned to also sell in the recreational pot market. Four others will license private retailers, while British Columbia stands out for its mix of both options.

17 October 2018
Chris Evans Slams Piers Morgan for Criticizing Daniel Craig
Not surprisingly, the Twittersphere wasn't terribly happy with the Good Morning Britain host's regressive perspective on parenting.

17 October 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan begin tour of drought-stricken Dubbo
The five-year-old met the royals on their tour of Dubbo this morning, along with a long line of other school children. They had a ideal start to their 16-day visit to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand in Sydney on Tuesday.

17 October 2018
Saudi Arabia Says It Will Increase Output To Keep Oil Market Stable
Barrel prices have halted their recent decline as Iranian exports and Saudi tensions keep crude on the high side . The US special envoy for Iran said on Monday the United States aims to cut Iran's oil sales to zero.

17 October 2018
At least 13 dead in southwestern France flooding
Around 1,000 people were evacuated in the area of Pezens, also near Carcassonne, amid fears that a nearby dam could burst. This well-known weather pattern occurs three to six times a year in the region and almost always triggers flash flooding.

17 October 2018
Brazil defeat Argentina 1-0 in friendly match in Jeddah
Inter star Mauro Icardi will be given a chance to impress following a rocky relationship with the national team . And as the match entered added time, it felt like a goal from Brazil was still possibly coming.

17 October 2018
Major outage prompts outcry on social media — YouTube down
Update #2: If you want to watch the game tonight on YouTube TV just download the FOX Sports app and use YouTube TV to log in. Since then, users have seen error messages appear instead of video content, confirming problems with the service.

17 October 2018
Federal Deficit Jumps 17 Percent As Tax Cuts Eat Into Government Revenue
The 2018 budget deficit was lower than the 34 percent that the Trump administration had been predicted in August . In the 2018 fiscal year, which ended Sep 30, the United States took in US$3.3 trillion but spent US$4.1 trillion.

17 October 2018
Woman who refused to let black neighbor into building fired
She reached out to share her side of the story after being called a racist and receiving death threats. "I am not mad at her". Louis faced the consequences after she tried to block a black man from entering the apartment building they both lived in.