Publicado: Jue, Octubre 18, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

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


A polio-like illness that can cause paralysis in children is now here in the Carolinas.

It's possible that some milder cases haven't been reported by doctors to their state health department or the CDC, but Messonnier believes that number would be small.

Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is rare, but the Centers for Disease Control said it has become more common recently.

"We understand that people, particularly parents, are concerned about AFM", she said.

Doctors diagnose AFM based on a combination of the patient's symptoms and an MRI scan. "What we do is a medication called immunoglobulins, and that's to decrease the inflammation that happens in the nerves and in the spinal cord".

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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states in recent weeks.

Health officials call the condition acute flaccid myelitis.

Roughly 90 percent of the cases so far have involved children, who suffer from muscle weakness or paralysis that impacts face, neck, back or limbs. "We actually don't know what's causing this increase", said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, of the CDC.

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Cases similar to Tunan's son are spreading to children around the age of four nationwide.

The CDC says there are preventive measures people can take to reduce the risk of infections that could lead to AFM.

MA has seen a total of 16 confirmed cases in children since 2014, plus one probable case in an adult.

Some patients diagnosed with AFM were found to have enterovirus D68, a cousin of poliovirus, in their systems. However, the illness has been on the rise in the US since 2014.

Still, because this is a "pretty dramatic disease", Messonnier said, health officials want to raise awareness about the symptoms to ensure parents seek medical care immediately if their children show a sudden onset of weakness in their arms and legs. In the CDC's health warning the organisation said at least 65 other patients are being assessed after they displayed symptoms of the malady. "As a parent myself, I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", she said.

"Many times it can start with what looks like a respiratory illness, a little bit of a fever", Narula said. It could be potentially deadly if the diaphragm is paralyzed because the child would be unable to breathe.

So far, the CDC hasn't seen any geographic patterns based on reporting from states.

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