First confirmed case of AFM reported to DHHS

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Such illnesses can result from a variety of causes, including viral infections, environmental toxins, genetic disorders, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurologic disorder caused by an abnormal immune response that attacks the body's nerves.

Most AFM patients became ill between August and October, and according to the CDC, the number of illnesses has peaked every other fall since 2014.

Two cases have been confirmed in Iowa.

"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.

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AFM is not a new condition but the increase in cases nationwide starting in 2014 is new.

The CDC has confirmed two cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, in New York City and six in New Jersey, with 116 total cases diagnosed across 31 states in 2018. The CDC does not yet know what's causing this disease, but of the 400-plus cases identified so far, over 90 percent have occurred in children.

On November 13, CDC announced a new task force to investigate the mysterious outbreak.

"I want to reaffirm to parents, patients, and our Nation CDC's commitment to this serious medical condition", said CDC director Dr. Robert R. Redfield in a statement last week.

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Almost three months after he arrived at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario suffering from a rare polio-like condition, a four-year-old boy is back home and preparing for school. There is no known cause and no cure, as of yet.

The children involved in this outbreak have tested negative for polio and West Nile. Although there is no cure for paralytic polio, about half of the small percentage of patients that develop this condition recover fully on their own, a quarter have mild residual weakness and about a quarter have severe permanent disability.Overall, the prognosis is better for younger children.

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

There is no specific treatment for acute flaccid myelitis.

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Most patients will have sudden onset of limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes.

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