First confirmed case of AFM reported to DHHS

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A map released by the CDC shows which states this year's confirmed AFM cases have been reported in.

There was a relatively large outbreak of AFM in the U.S.in late 2014.

The patient in that case met some, but not all, of the criteria needed for the case to be confirmed as AFM. Today, conservative estimates are that more than 430 cases have been confirmed since the first diagnosis.

"I'm sure if I showed senators the data for each of their states and the number of cases they've had, they'll be more aware of how serious this is and how anxious parents are", she said. Oftentimes, however, despite extensive laboratory testing, a cause for AFM is unable to be identified. It has also convened a task force to get to the bottom of this mystery disease, and as CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D., put it in a statement, "to actively detect, more effectively treat, and ultimately prevent AFM and its consequences".

"AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects mostly children and we've been watching closely for cases in Nebraska over the last four years", said Dr. Tom Safranek, state epidemiologist for DHHS.

Medical experts still don't know much about the rare disease, which strikes just one in 1 million Americans.

The New York Democrat has written a letter to Congressional appropriators, asking for CDC funding in the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bill.

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The children involved in this outbreak have tested negative for polio and West Nile.

None of the cases have been related to the poliovirus, although the impact is similar to polio.

More than 95% of the 440 patients with AFM since 2014 have been children younger than age 18. Most patients report mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM.

"Most of them are between 2 and 8 years old", she said. Health care providers were required to begin reporting it to the state in 2016.

Symptoms include sudden weakness in the arms or legs.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging congress to quickly fund research of a polio-like disease that's affected hundreds of children across the country.

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