CDC: Cases of Polio-Like Illness May Have Peaked

Case of acute flaccid myelitis confirmed in North Dakota

There are 9 confirmed cases in IL, and 2 confirmed cases in Iowa.

I am not alone. But then we see a child on the news, usually about 4 years old, who suddenly, after an upper respiratory infection, can't bear her weight, or move her arms or legs easily, and who may never regain her strength.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is helping the public understand the facts as it discovers them. After all, even though the CDC certainly encourages doctors to report these cases, it is not required (so, perhaps, doctors are not reporting the cases, too). The CDC is also looking into other possible causes, including whether AFM is caused not by a viral infection but by the patients' own immune systems.

Last week, the CDC said that more than 95% of the patients with AFM this year have been children younger than 18, and the average age of those infected was 5. In 2015, there were 22 guaranteed cases and in 2017, 35 guaranteed cases were declared.

The pattern of outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis has been observed for every alternate year.

At the same time, there has been an accelerated response within the CDC and a push for the task force to bring in outside experts. Now there is no effective treatment for AFM beyond physical therapy. Nevertheless, most experts believe viruses are causing the rare condition.

Astronauts blast off for first time since aborted mission
This is the first spaceflight for both McClain and Saint-Jacques and the fourth trip to the space station for Kononenko. This is the first launch of a manned spacecraft after the abortive blastoff of the Soyuz carrier rocket on October 11.

Most of the newly reported cases appear to have occurred in September and October, the CDC said.

The CDC says that AFM is a rare but serious condition.

"Based on the number of reported cases of AFM in the United States through November 30, 2018, it appears that the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) for AFM has peaked and will continue to decline for the remainder of 2018", federal health officials said in a statement.

Vaccines are in the works for two of the viruses with suspected links to AFM - enterovirus A71 and enterovirus D68.

There are now 134 confirmed cases of AFM in the USA - an increase of 18 cases from the prior week.

And so we worry.

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