CDC expresses concern over mysterious surge in polio-like paralysis cases

- Georgia officials report three cases of a rare polio-like illness in young children, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn cases have spiked nationwide.

Health officials don't have an exact cause of AFM.

CDC is not releasing a list of the 22 states with confirmed and suspected cases because of privacy issues.

Typical symptoms of AFM are similar to those of a severe respiratory illness, along with a fever, but those often progress into neurological symptoms.

Beginning in the summer and fall of 2014, an apparent increase in reports of AFM occurred in the United States.

The spikes were significantly higher in 2014, 2016 and 2018-to-date than in 2015 or 2017.

There is also no official cause which means no definite form of treatment, something Roanoke mother Brittany Hoff knows too well after she said her son was diagnosed.

No cases of polio have originated in the USA since 1979, while in Australia, the last case of the disease caused by a locally acquired virus was in 1972. Other symptoms include facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech.

The cases this year seem to be spread across much of the country, as were the earlier two waves. "We want to encourage parents to seek medical care right away if you or your child develops symptoms of AFM, such as sudden weakness and loss of muscle tone in your arms or legs".

Acute flaccid myelitis first appeared in 2014, when 120 children across 34 states were stricken with mysterious muscle weakness. "As a parent myself, I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", she said.

Dr. Mobeen Rathore, chief of infectious disease and immunology at Wolfson, said in a statement that the child, who was not identified, was admitted to the hospital with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM).

There is no specific treatment for AFM, according to the CDC, although neurologists might recommend things like physical therapy to help treat muscle weakness on a case-by-case basis.

Health experts are working to gather information on the North Dakota case, but confirmation could take weeks. "We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care", Messonnier said.

The Douglas County Health Department's Phil Rooney said, "This is not a diagnosis like flu or other diseases where you can do blood draw fluids". Officials would not say what states they lived in, but cases have been reported in New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington.

Mary Finke said, "We're always watchful of any cold pneumonia, anything - chicken pox".

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