165 AFM Cases Confirmed by CDC
There have been 165 confirmed cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) reported by 36 states, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its weekly investigation report.
These 165 confirmed AFM cases are among the total of 320 reports that the CDC has received of patients under investigation (PUIs).
The leading states are Texas (24), Colorado (15), Ohio (12), New Jersey (10) and several reporting (9) AFM cases during 2018.
The CDC has been investigating the AFM cases in the USA since 2014.
AFM is a complex condition that affects a person’s nervous system, specifically, the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs.
And, it is difficult to determine why only some people go from having a mild respiratory illness or fever to developing AFM, says the CDC.
Since AFM affects the spinal cord, finding a pathogen in the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord would be good evidence for a cause.
The CDC says it has tested many different specimens from AFM patients for a wide range of pathogens that can cause AFM.
Recently, the CDC launched an AFM Task Force on November 21, 2018.
This task force will bring together experts from a variety of scientific, medical, and public health disciplines to help solve this critical public health issue.
The Task Force will convene under CDC’s Office of Infectious Diseases’ Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) and will make key recommendations to the BSC to inform and strengthen CDC’s response to this urgent public health concern.
While the CDC does not know the cause of these AFM cases, it’s always important to practice disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, like polio.