CDC confirms three cases of polio-like illness in Alabama

CDC confirms three cases of polio-like illness in Alabama

AFM typically affects children and can cause paralysis.

While Colorado has confirmed the most cases, followed by Texas, it remains unclear whether there is a higher risk of AFM in those states, or if they were better at identifying and reporting it, according to CNN. An additional 170 possible cases remain unconfirmed and under investigation. The average age of those infected is 5, according to the CDC.

CDC is investigating hundreds of cases across 31 states and DC, with 116 confirmed as of this week. There is no known cause and no cure, as of yet. It's believed that viruses like polio, West Nile, and various enteroviruses (which cause the common cold) may be linked to AFM.

While the illness resembles polio, patients test negative for polio virus. Clinicians or infection control practitioners that have access to enter reportable diseases into the Illinois National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS) should also enter the case's information into the system's AFM module.

Safranek said health officials have found no connection between the two Sarpy-Cass cases.

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The rapid onset of flaccid weakness of AFM in one or more limbs is similar to symptoms from paralytic polio, and so has been described as "polio-like."However, the underlying pathophysiology of AFM is not (yet) well understood.It is thought to be caused by a virus, and there are some specific suspect viruses; enterovirus D68 is a leading candidate (there are many types of enterovirus, causing over 10 million infections in the US every year, usually just "common colds").The incomplete understanding of AFM limits the ability to make a specific diagnosis and to confidently identify the mode (s) of transmission, as well as preventing development of preventive measures (such as a vaccine) or treatment". The CDC has a responsibility to give them answers.

There appears to be an every-other-year spike in AFM cases.

The officials said that parents can try to prevent the disease by making their kids regularly wash their hands, keep them up to date on their vaccinations, and spray them with insect repellent when they go outdoors to prevent mosquito bites. "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now".

Most patients will have sudden onset of limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes.

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