Causes Of Polio-Like AFM - The Disease Paralyzing Children - Still Unknown

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Vail said the disease is very rare and not itself contagious. Like most people diagnosed with the neurological condition that has been compared to polio, the Jacksonville patient is a child, a 3-year-old girl whose mother first noticed something amiss when her daughter collapsed while walking. "Her whole body was paralyzed", said Palacios.

It has stumped doctors and it's worrying parents: Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM).

AFM affects a person's nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs.

The CDC said: "While we don't know the cause of most of the AFM cases, it's always important to practice disease prevention steps, such as staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands, and protecting yourself from mosquito bites". While potential causes may include certain viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC says, "AFM can be hard to diagnose because it shares numerous same symptoms as other neurologic diseases". ((Source: WTVM)) According to the CDC, AFM case numbers have fluctuated over the past four years and to date, out of 155 cases they're investigating, 62 of them are confirmed AFM cases across 22 states in 2018. The CDC is also exploring environmental toxins or genetic factors as a possibility. If you notice this, please bring your child to the nearest emergency department immediately.

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Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

Treatment is not clearly established yet, but depending on symptoms, some children are treated with IVIG (immune globulin), steroids, or plasmapheresis. After over a month in the hospital, Abigail is back home in Columbus continuing physical therapy. The condition has thus far affected mostly children, but the CDC doesn't know the cause of most cases as yet. We'll update it as more information becomes available. If the illness progresses to paralysis, is that condition permanent, or can it be reversed?

"I think it is worrisome especially when we're not sure what's causing it", Dr. Bhargava says.

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