Acute Flaccid Myelitis Outbreak: Why This Paralysis-Causing Illness Is Causing An Alarm In The Us

By Melanie Hemsworth, Parent Herald October 09, 08:30 am

Cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), an illness that causes temporary or permanent paralysis, has been reportedly increasing in the United States. The AFM Syndrome attacks the nervous system and is often indicated by weakness of facial muscles, sagging eyelids and strained speech.

In addition to physical manifestations, patients affected by AFM syndrome may experience difficulty in urination. The harsher symptom involves the weakening of the respiratory muscles. Thus, it causes difficulty in breathing.

Fifty cases of AFM cases has been recorded year to date by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is reportedly alarming, taking into consideration that only twenty-one cases were noted in 2015, ABC News details.

Dr. Manisha Patel, a Pediatrician from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affirmed to CBS that ninety percent of these cases in 2016 are in children. Viruses such as poliovirus and other non-polio enteroviruses, flaviviruses and adenoviruses have been denoted to cause acute flaccid myelitis.

Although the definite cause is primarily unknown, analyses are vigorously conducted by researchers. Scientists are continuously running tests of respiratory, nasal, spinal cord and blood specimens to pinpoint the mainspring of the disorder.

There is no specific treatment for AFT but therapy may be recommended by health experts, according to Fox NewsWashing hands on a regular basis, steering clear of sick people and using disinfectant cleansers could be counter measures.

Dr. Michael Grosso of the Northwell Health's Huntington Hospital has recommended giving children necessary vaccines. The medical director and chief medical officer expressed that there may be more than one infection that upshot to this isolated complication.

Vanderbilt Medical Center's Dr. William Schaffner, urges everyone to observe proper hygiene. Fever and rash are early symptoms of the illness, the infectious disease expert disclosed.  Hence, parents should pursue preventive measures in order to safeguard their children's comprehensive well-being.

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