Two Mass. children contracted rare muscle-weakness syndrome this year, officials say

Cases of Mysterious Paralyzing Illness Acute Flaccid Myelitis Reported in 22 states

Cases of Mysterious Paralyzing Illness Acute Flaccid Myelitis Reported in 22 states

The cause is a mystery but the CDC and other officials have ruled out polio and West Nile virus.

The agency says there are several possible causes, including "viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders". All told 386 cases of AFM have been confirmed since 2014, more than 90 percent in children younger than 18. Maryland's first case was reported September 21.

There are no known cases of the illness in either Virginia or D.C., according to area health officials.

The number of confirmed cases has been on the rise since late 2014, when there were 120 confirmed cases from August to December in 34 states.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says they had referred a case from this summer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numbers dropped drastically in 2015 and 2017 - to 22 and 33, respectively - but were back up again in 2016 at 149.

The spinal cord condition is caused by a polio-like enterovirus and manifests with similar symptoms, particularly muscle weakness and partial paralysis. "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now".

So far, AFM has affected fewer than one in a million people in the United States each year. The CDC says an outbreak in 2014 seemed to coincide with an outbreak of enterovirus D68, however the virus wasn't found in every AFM patient. "We actually don't know what's causing this increase", said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, of the CDC.




"As a parent myself I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", Messonnier said.

Generally, most children with AFM see subtle improvements over time, but "most have long-term weakness", she said. But, if their child is diagnosed, parents should prepare for extensive physical therapy - therapy that isn't always covered by insurance, he said.

She added that confirmation of each case requires a review of MRI images and symptoms, "so there is going to be a bit of a lag as we confirm those things". It could be potentially deadly if the diaphragm is paralyzed because the child would be unable to breathe.

CNN has reported that this year, more than half of all US states have had confirmed or possible cases, including North and SC.

"Families really sticking with it are seeing slow but steady recovery", he said.

States reporting suspected cases or cases under investigation are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Washington.

Dana Hedgpeth and Justin Wm.

Recommended News

  • Jose Mourinho charged following rant after Newcastle United victory

    Jose Mourinho charged following rant after Newcastle United victory

    Speaking after the game Mourinho has commented he was the victim of a "manhunt" by the media and said his gesture was "a finger". Carrick was a key player for Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho .
    The most adorable moment of the royal tour so far

    The most adorable moment of the royal tour so far

    Harry then proceeded to break royal protocol by taking a picture of Meghan with the little girl on the fan's phone. In 2017, Prince Harry met Daphne Dunne while on a walkabout on Circular Quay in Sydney , Australia.
    Saudi dismisses threat of sanctions over Khashoggi

    Saudi dismisses threat of sanctions over Khashoggi

    The kingdom has called the allegations "baseless", but has offered no evidence the writer ever left the consulate. By close, it had recovered some losses, ending down 3.5 percent and losing $16.5 billion of market value.
  • Execution of Hauwa Liman: Security chiefs, IGP summoned

    Execution of Hauwa Liman: Security chiefs, IGP summoned

    Hauwa Liman of the International Red Cross , who was abducted by Boko Haram in March, was on Monday killed by insurgents. Both parents who spoke to TVC News on Tuesday, demand for the release of her corps as a proof of her death.
    Brexit talks stall ahead of crunch summit for May

    Brexit talks stall ahead of crunch summit for May

    Then on Wednesday, May goes to Brussels, still facing the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Similar protocols will be included covering Northern Ireland and UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.
    Patriots permanently ban fan who threw beer at Tyreek Hill

    Patriots permanently ban fan who threw beer at Tyreek Hill

    Brady was hit as he crossed the goal line, but hung on to the ball, scoring a 4-yard touchdown to make it, 37-33 Patriots. And it happened because Brady was at his sharpest at the most important time, and so were his targets.
  • Cowboys, Jaguars look for consistency

    Cowboys, Jaguars look for consistency

    Depending on the week, your favorite team can convert you from devout believer to an agnostic or even an outright atheist. Fantasy tip: Bortles one of three in National Football League with three games of at least 375 yards passing this season.
    Trains cancelled in Lancashire due to 'severe weather' brought by Storm Callum

    Trains cancelled in Lancashire due to 'severe weather' brought by Storm Callum

    The family of a 21-year-old man who died in a landslide during Storm Callum has paid tribute to their "beautiful son". Big splash: A jogger is caught by the spray on Salthill promenade, Co Galway, during Storm Callum yesterday.
    Brady, Patriots top Chiefs for wild 43-40 win

    Brady, Patriots top Chiefs for wild 43-40 win

    The Kansas City Chiefs and the sensational rookie Pat Mahomes improved to 5-0 last week in knocking off the Jacksonville Jaguars . Brady also passed former teammate Adam Vinatieri for most career wins in the regular season and playoffs combined with 227.
  • Trump May Be Contractually Bound to Pay Out $1M to Charity

    Trump May Be Contractually Bound to Pay Out $1M to Charity

    In the South it became known as the "one-drop rule, " meaning that a single drop of "black blood" makes a person a black. The White House also tried to quickly dismiss the results. "I will only do it if I can test her personally", Trump said.
    Royal wedding: Why Princess Beatrice did little to help Princess Eugenie

    Royal wedding: Why Princess Beatrice did little to help Princess Eugenie

    As it's hard to see the brooch in this picture, we're hoping the Palace releases another photo of Eugenie where it is in frame. The ceremony was followed by the traditional carriage ride through the streets of Windsor and a lunch celebration at St.
    President Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen returns to Democratic Party

    President Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen returns to Democratic Party

    Cohen has flip-flopped between parties before, going from a Democrat to Republican in 2017 after being asked to serve as the GOP finance chair.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.