Most states facing confirmed or possible cases of polio-like illness

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"There is a lot we don't know about AFM, and I'm frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness". Though AFM has not claimed any lives this year, there was one death in 2017.

There were outbreaks of around 100 cases, nationwide, between August and October in both 2014 and 2016. In addition, officials do not yet know the long-term effects of AFM. It affects the nervous system and can cause paralysis.

Neurological conditions like it have a variety of causes, such as viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.

States are reporting their cases to the CDC, Messonnier said.

In addition to viruses, potential causes may include environmental toxins and genetic disorders, according to the CDC, and it "can be hard to diagnose because it shares numerous same symptoms as other neurologic diseases".

The child's mother, Reba Faircloth, told ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando that her daughter started showing symptoms for some sort of illness on Thursday, and has been in the Intensive Care Unit since Sunday.

"As a parent myself I understand what it's like to be scared for your child", Messonnier said. So far in 2018, there have been 62 confirmed cases of the disease, an increase from previous year.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs.

The outlook for patients with AFM can vary from a quick recovery to ongoing paralysis, Messonnier said.

The CDC says there are preventive measures people can take to reduce the risk of infections that could lead to AFM.

"[There's] nothing that provides the unifying diagnosis that we'd expect to explain these peaks of disease", Messonnier said.

There are no known cases of the illness in either Virginia or D.C., according to area health officials. Seruya has operated on 15 children whose AFM-induced paralysis lasted at least three months.

Rathore, the Jacksonville specialist, said he was not shocked at seeing a case this year.

"It's definitely not been transmissable from person to person from what the investigation so far has seen". Doctors can recommend physical or occupational therapy to help with arm or leg weakness.

"Numbness or tingling is rare in people with AFM, although some people have pain in their arms or legs". No pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid.

"We have not been able to find a cause for the majority of these AFM cases", Messonnier admitted.

Unfortunately, there's no specific treatment for AFM.

Messonnier did not address enterovirus D68 directly during the news conference and said the CDC has not yet had time to fully analyze the cases from this summer and fall. Make sure your children wash their hands, make sure you wash your hands, and cough into your elbow.

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