(CNN) – According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 286 cases of acute and confirmed acute flaccid myelitis have been reported this year in the United States.
This includes 116 confirmed cases of the rare polio-like disease, also known as MFA, which leads to the sudden onset of paralysis. This is 10 more confirmed cases that the agency reported a week ago. Another 170 possible cases of AFM are investigated.
Since 2014, more than 90% of the 440 AED patients were children under 4 years of age. Most of the children whose cases have been confirmed have had a viral illness with symptoms including fever and cough about three this month.
Patients with confirmed AFM are found in 31 states, which the CDC has now identified for the first time. There are 15 cases in Colorado, the state with the highest number, followed by Texas with 14 confirmed cases. Nineteen states have no confirmed cases and 12 states record only one confirmed case, according to the CDC.
It is not clear if the AFM presents a higher risk in states that count more cases or if these states are simply better at identifying and reporting patients. Although the CDC has encouraged physicians to report cases, there is no requirement to do so.
Most AFM patients became ill between August and October, and according to the CDC, the number of illnesses has fallen to a low since 2014.
Even with the increase in the number of cases, according to the CDC, "less than one to two children in a million in the United States will have AFM each year".