Rare, polio-like disorder not confirmed in Hawaii

Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

"For now, DOH is staying up-to-date with the latest guidance shared with states by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding diagnosis and management of acute flaccid myelitis and continuing to monitor for any such cases", she said.

The new condition causes paralysis, according to a report by NBC News, and has affected mostly children so far. The condition escalates quickly, and can begin with signs as innocuous as dizziness, trouble swallowing or trouble moving an arm. Poliovirus and West Nile virus may sometimes lead to AFM. Recently, Minnesota state officials also put out an alert after receiving reports of six recent AFM cases involving children.

"We just had a suspected case reported in an adult male", said Lynn Sutfin of the Michigan Department of Public Health. Last year, in 2017, there were 33 confirmed cases in 16 states.

Doctors are reportedly hesitant to confirm cases of AFM, especially because it seems to follow a viral infection, which can have a range of specific neurological effects. "Shoot, two months ago I couldn't walk now I can in my walker". Both EV-D68 and EV-A71 are enteroviruses and are distant relatives of polio. Most of the patients are children. In the case of the Batavia child, doctors say Julia Payne contracted what's known as an enterovirus and that was the cause of her AFM. Additionally, there were likely many thousands of mild EV-D68 infections for which people did not seek medical treatment and/or get tested.

In summer and fall 2014, NY and other states witnessed an outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory illness.

The CDC has determined, however, that based on the 362 cases the CDC has received verified from August 2014 to August 2018, most of the cases occur in children. "If this pattern continues, we should expect to see an increase in AFM cases in 2018". EV-D68 infection most commonly results in mild symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, cough, body aches and muscle aches.

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