Cases of Polio-Like Illness Still Increasing in the US

219 possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis reported in 25 states.
219 possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis reported in 25 states.

HealthDay News — Cases of a polio-like condition that mainly affects children continue to rise this year in the United States, health officials say.

There have been 219 possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) reported in 25 states, and 80 of those cases have been confirmed, according to the latest update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 120 confirmed cases in 2014, 22 in 2015, 149 in 2016, and 33 in 2017. The condition is marked by muscle weakness and paralysis. 

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The cause of the cases is unclear, the CDC said. Some patients have been infected with the usually harmless common cold virus EV-D68, but not all patients have tested positive for the virus.

"To date, no pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid; a pathogen detected in the spinal fluid would be good evidence to indicate the cause of AFM since this condition affects the spinal cord," wrote the CDC.

More Information: CDC