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

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So far, 127 cases in 22 states have been confirmed of acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, the CDC said.

The CDC has confirmed 62 cases across 22 states this year, compared with 33 cases last year, and is investigating dozens more reports.

Many more cases have been reported, including three in Georgia.

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.

AFM is diagnosed in fewer than one in a million people. CDC has been actively investigating AFM and continues to receive information about suspected AFM cases.

"At this moment, we don't know if it's a virus that is coming and producing direct damage of the gray matter in the spinal cord, or if a virus is triggering immunological responses that produce a secondary damage in the spinal cord", Carlos Pardo-Villamizar, a neurological disease expert at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who recently authored a paper on AFM, told Kaiser Health News. The cause is unknown.

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EV-D68 is an enterovirus, a distant relative of the poliovirus. The most severe symptom is breathing trouble.

Most people don't even go to the doctor with a virus, and doctors rarely test patients to see which virus they have.

The CDC is open to the possibility that it's not a virus that is causing the condition, but can not find any other plausible cause, either.

Most of the AFM cases that the CDC has studied have no indication of any particular infection.

It's unclear what's causing the outbreak, which can develop after a viral infection, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders.

It will take an MRI to confirm if the patients have AFM. "But if you are having the peaks of disease every late summer and early fall you would think we (would be) finding a single agent. That's something that we're still really learning about", Jones said. That virus has been identified as one cause of AFM. "We try to keep muscles and joints as healthy as possible so that when the nervous system is repairing itself, it will have adequate muscle to connect to", Greenberg said. These viruses caused symptoms including encephalitis, a life-threatening inflammation of the brain; acute flaccid paralysis, which can include AFM and similar conditions; and meningitis. And the CDC recommends staying up to date on vaccines, avoiding mosquito bites, and washing your hands as ways to possibly avoid contracting AFM.

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