With the end of summer approaching, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging doctors to look for a rare and mysterious disease characterized by muscle weakness or paralysis in children.
The disease is called Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, and according to the Pennsylvania State Department of Health, 11 cases were confirmed last year, a confirmed case and a suspected case this year. year.
Asked about the countries in which the cases were, a spokesman said that the information was not available "because of the limited number of cases and the protection of patients' privacy".
The CDC reported that there were 233 cases of AFD in 41 states in 2018 – the largest outbreak ever recorded to date, after 120 cases in 2014 and 149 in 2016. In total, there were 570 cases since 2014, between August and October.
The average age of the patients was 5 years, according to the CDC, and the agency was informed of suspected cases an average of 18 days after the onset of weakness of the patient's limbs.
According to the CDC, the majority of patients were previously healthy and had respiratory symptoms or fever corresponding to a viral infection less than a week before they had limb weakness.
The agency believes that viruses, including enteroviruses, play a role in the AFM and that early notification of possible cases is "essential to improve understanding of this complex syndrome, including its risk factors." , its results, its possible treatments and its means of prevention ".
The AFM has sometimes been described as "polio-like", but the agency said the tested samples were poliovirus negative.
Currently, according to the agency, "there is no proven way to treat or prevent MFAs".
"Many families say their children have found at least a little movement in the affected limbs, but full recovery stories are unusual," an Associated Press article said in April. "Health officials can not say how many have been found completely, partially or not at all, or how many have died, although disease control and prevention centers say that deaths are rare."
New CDC #Vital signs report: Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare but serious syndrome, causes limb weakness, mainly in children. Three national outbreaks occurred in 2014, 2016 and 2018, with most patients developing #AFM in late summer / early autumn. https://t.co/Zbhw240X4U pic.twitter.com/ErFwJkz4Rb
– CDC (@CDCgov) July 9, 2019