U.S. CDC confirms 62 cases of rare polio-like neurological condition

Paralyzing polio-like illness affecting mainly children is confirmed in 22 states CDC says

AFM remains extremely rare, even with the recent increase.

Acute flaccid myelitis(AFM) affects the gray matterin the spinal cord, causing sudden muscle weakness and a loss of reflexes.

One thing scientists do know is that only one person in a million is infected with AFM each year in the United States.

The following year, there were 22 confirmed cases in 17 states, and 2016 saw 149 cases in 39 jurisdictions, including D.C. In 2017 there were 33 confirmed cases in 16 states. That pattern appears to be repeating this year.

Cases nationwide may have gone up since 2014, but Wisconsin didn't see its first case until 2016, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Officials have not determined a cause of the rare disease. Alarming symptoms consist of sudden, onset paralysis of a limb. Other symptoms include: facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty swallowing or slurred speech. We are trying to help the family out with the many medical expenses, travel cost, parking cost, food cost and time off work for both Jeff and Jill.

The CDC has confirmed 62 cases of AFM in 22 states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

The CDC has tested many different specimens from patients with this condition for a wide variety of pathogens, or germs, that can cause AFM.

The CDC says the illness could be caused by viruses, environmental toxins, genetic disorders, or a condition in which the immune system attacks body tissues. It's also unclear why the illness seems to peak in the late summer and fall.

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"This is truly a mystery disease", Messonnier told CBS News. "We actually don't know what is causing this increase". "We think the majority of cases are coming to our attention".

Mark Hicar, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, S.U.N.Y., has treated two children with AFM, one in 2014 and one this year. Some possible suspects, such as polio and West Nile virus, have been ruled out.

Medical experts have unable to find a cause nor have they been able to determine who is at risk.

"Early intervention is definitely always helpful".

There is also no official cause which means no definite form of treatment, something Roanoke mother Brittany Hoff knows too well after she said her son was diagnosed. In some cases, patients recover quickly. If it affects the diaphragm and disrupts breathing, patients may be put on a ventilator.

He says he has had very good outcomes in 14 of the 15 patients; the one girl who did not regain full function had "a suboptimal result, but [her parents are] happy she got something back".

Hunter was hospitalized with AFM when he was 15 months old.

Now 3 years old, Hunter has slowly recovered.

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