Suspected AFM cases in Illinois - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Suspected AFM cases in Illinois

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WSIL -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned about Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a serious condition that causes weakness in the arms or legs.

From August 2014 through September 2018, CDC has received information on a total of 386 confirmed cases of AFM across the US; most of the cases have occurred in children.

Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM remains a very rare condition. Less than one in a million people in the United States get AFM each year.

So far in 2018, there are 62 confirmed cases of AFM in 22 states.

These 62 confirmed cases are among the total of 155 reports that CDC received of patients under investigation (PUIs). The CDC recently received increased reports for PUIs with onset of symptoms in August and September. The CDC and state and local health departments are still investigating some of these PUIs.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says there are 10 suspected cases of AFM in the state. All 10 suspected cases are among children in northern Illinois.

The underlying cause(s) of AMF is not known.  CDC has been actively investigating AFM and continues to receive information about suspected AFM cases.

Poliovirus and West Nile virus may sometimes lead to AFM. And the CDC recommends staying up to date on vaccines, avoiding mosquito bites, and washing your hands as ways to possibly avoid contracting AFM.

There is no treatment for AFM. Most patients will need physical therapy. Damage to the nervous system can be long-lasting or permanent.

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