Health Care

First case of paralyzing, polio-like disease confirmed in Florida

First case of paralyzing, polio-like disease confirmed in Florida”

The symptoms tend to occur about a week after they had a fever and respiratory illness. There were 120 confirmed cases in 2014 and 149 two years later. "A respiratory illness or a viral illness and then it's the development of a sudden weakness", said Berbari. Tyler thinks the virus, called enterovirus D68, has changed since it was first identified in 1962, becoming more unsafe. He has tested a number of possible treatments on his mice but has not yet found any that make a significant difference in the course of their AFM-like illness.

The rare disease, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), affects the nervous system and can cause paralysis.

The peak season for AFM started in mid-summer and doctors say it should be wrapping up soon as we move closer into winter.

Andrea Kunicky, spokesperson for UPMC Children's, declined to comment on any cases at the hospital.

"Overall, the rate of AFM over the years that it has been diagnosed which is since 2014 is less than one in a million."

Symptoms of AFM include sudden limb weakness, loss of muscle tone and reflexes, facial and eyelid drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech, the CDC said.

What is known about the illness is that more than 90 percent of the confirmed cases are in children 18 years old or younger. Though AFM has not claimed any lives this year, there was one death in 2017.

"This is a mystery so far", the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier said in a call Tuesday with reporters.

The first cases of AFM coincided with an unusually severe outbreak of a common virus that affects the lungs or gut.

"Getting vaccinated, taking precaution against mosquitoes, washing hands-all of these things are recommended by the CDC", said CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula.

"As a parent myself, I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", she said.

The agency also said it will post case count updates on its website every week now, a change from the monthly updates it had been giving.

A study published last yearfound six of eight children in Colorado with acute flaccid myelitis still struggled with motor skills one year after their diagnosis. He redirects redundant nerves from other parts of the arm or abdomen to replace those lost to the disease.

Faircloth said she wants other parents to be aware.

More information about AFM is provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nor can they explain why only a handful of infected children developed AFM.

Although symptoms resemble polio, no evidence of poliovirus has been found in specimens from any case diagnosed so far, Messonnier said. "Unfortunately there are no real treatments that have been proven to work, but early rehabilitation has been shown to help", Narula said.



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