Medicine

Health officials: Oklahoma child diagnosed with rare polio-like illness

Health officials: Oklahoma child diagnosed with rare polio-like illness

According to CNN, the average age of all patients in confirmed patients is 4 and more than 90 percent of the cases occur in children under the age of 18. AFM symptoms include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs, sometimes following a respiratory illness.

"We have not been able to find a cause for the majority of these" cases, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Wednesday at a news conference.

Verma, of Children's Healthcare, said unfortunately there is no cure for acute flaccid myelitis, but he said there are ways to manage the symptoms, and he added that rehabilitation can improve function and quality of life.

Some victims have been infected with viruses, but researchers have been unable to identify a single virus responsible for all cases.

"This is a mystery and we haven't solved it yet, so we have to be thinking broadly", said Messonnier, adding, "You'd think that we would finding a single agent and that's not what we're finding". Additionally, it doesn't know what long-term effects of the illness could look like.

A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014.

Neurological conditions like it have a variety of causes, such as viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.

Today (Oct. 16), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it had received reports of 127 cases of people with the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), in 2018. This is the first report of potential AFM to the NDDoH. "All of a sudden, 'Mommy I can't zip my trousers".

The CDC urges parents to be aware of this illness and to seek medical care right away if family members develop sudden weakness or loss of muscle tone in the arms or legs.

"In most (AFM) cases, there appears to be what we call residual weakness, where the patient is unfortunately weak for a long period of time and may not recover or may not recover completely", said Dr. John Modlin, a Dartmouth College professor emeritus who is now the deputy director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's effort to eradicate polio. CDC has tested every stool specimen from every AFM patient.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman , in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 16, 2018. Trump's remarks were his most robust defense yet of the Saudis. "The president has to put this fire out".

Kerkering said AFM is most common in children. Limb paralysis caused by the illness can worsen quickly, so it's also important that individuals experiencing these symptoms receive prompt medical attention.

"The data on the recently reported cluster of cases of AFM will have to be carefully evaluated to better understand the role of EV-D68 in this new outbreak".

"We are seeing more cases of this in the USA than we are seeing in polio in the whole world", University of Colorado neurologist Kenneth Tyler tells Science.

Rathore, the Jacksonville specialist, said he was not shocked at seeing a case this year. Also, since it's viral, doctors recommend using bug repellent when you're outside.

The agency doesn't know who may be at higher risk for developing this condition or the reasons they may be at higher risk. To date, no pathogen has been consistently detected in AFM patients.

Follow-up with patients from the 2014 and 2016 waves has shown that most children do not recover from acute flaccid myelitis, for which there now is no cure. AFM may be one of them.

"Early intervention is definitely always helpful".

AFM first jumped onto the CDC radar in 2014, with 120 cases within a five-month span in 34 states.

But some state health departments have been making public their reported cases.

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