Four Cases Of Mysterious Polio-Like Illness Diagnosed In New York

Acute Flaccid Myelitis, Which Causes Paralysis In Kids, Reported In Canada

State health officials say four cases of a rare, mysterious illness that can paralyze children have been confirmed in OH amid a jump in such cases nationally.

The CDC said it also is testing specimens, including stool, blood and cerebrospinal fluid, from suspected AFM cases and working with healthcare providers, health departments, policymakers, the public and other partners to gather information on the condition.

"We have [had] two patients we have treated in CHEO for [acute flaccid paralysis] since the summer", said Dr. Sunita Venkateswaran, a pediatric neurogologist with the children's hospital.

The CDC observed an increase in AFM cases in 2014 when it confirmed 120 from August to December, coinciding with a national outbreak of severe respiratory illness among people caused by enterovirus D68.

AFP is the umbrella term used for "syndromes characterized by the acute onset of weakness of the limbs", including AFM, CDC notes.

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HuffPost Canada has reached out to the Canadian Paediatric Society for comment.

The CDC says the number of patients under investigation is up from 127 patients a week ago. Some possible suspects, such as polio and West Nile virus, have been ruled out. "There isn't a consistent cause, and we don't understand the whole physiology behind it at this point".

The average age of the USA patients this year is four, and doctors in Canada are reporting a similar pattern.

"We don't know who may be at higher risk for developing AFM or the reasons why they may be at higher risk".

Though there's very little known about the illness, doctors have determined it's not polio, despite the similar symptoms. Symptoms include facial droop, difficulty moving the eyes, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing.


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