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"We understand that people, particularly parents, are concerned about AFM", said Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She noted the confirmed cases are in 22 states.

WFTV reported that the child's mother, Reba Faircloth, said her daughter started showing illness symptoms Thursday and has been in the Intensive Care Unit since Sunday.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says they had referred a case from this summer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a total of 62 confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) have been diagnosed in 22 states. As this virus invades spinal cord of human body, the symptoms showing AFM are seen, Woods said.

These symptoms are similar to the poliovirus (which was eliminated in the United States in 1979 after a successful national vaccination program) as well as non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and the West Nile virus.

"Overall, the rate of AFM over the years that it has been diagnosed which is since 2014 is less than one in a million". In 2017, one person died of AFM.

"AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to weaken", the North Dakota Health Department said.

There is no evidence to support a "geographic clustering" of cases.

While there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding AFM, McGuffin says the best way to protect your child is pretty basic: wash your hands and stay up to date on vaccines. AFM could experience a similar fate before it ever becomes a major emergency, if a virus can be identified. The average age was 4. None has tested positive for poliovirus. While there is no specific treatment for AFM, doctors may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis.

According to the CDC, scientists have not yet been able to determine who is most at risk for developing AFM.

Some patients diagnosed with this condition have recovered quickly, but some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care, she said.

In 2018, the number of cases almost doubled over a year ago, with 62 children in 22 states confirmed by the CDC. Also, she said there can be lags in reporting because of the time it takes to review a patient's clinical syndrome and radiographic findings.

Acute flaccid myelitis is a rare disease that resembles polio. But some state health departments have been making public their reported cases.

According to the CDC, there's been a mild uptick in the number of AFM cases in the country since 2014. In 2016, that number rose to 149. "So I think that should be reassuring to people", Dominguez said.

"This is truly a mystery disease", Messonnier told CBS News.

At Upstate Medical, there have been two patients treated with a strand of enterovirus associated with the polio-like disease. "This is a mystery so far, and we haven't solved it yet, so we have to be thinking broadly".

"Despite extensive laboratory testing, we have not determined what pathogen or immune response caused the arm or leg weakness and paralysis in most patients", CDC official Dr. Nancy Messonnier said in a news briefing.

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.

"We need to pay attention to this, because the long-term consequences the children and their parents suffer is enormous", said Dr. Carlos Pardo-Villamizar, a neurological disease expert with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.


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