Florida child reportedly gets state's first case of paralyzing polio-like disease

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Since 2014, there have been 386 confirmed AFM cases, overwhelmingly in patients under the age of 18. A spokeswoman for hospital said they have notified the health department and are working with the CDC to learn more about the illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they haven't found the cause.

There is no specific treatment for AFM, the CDC says. "At this time, the exact causes or source of this disease is unknown". In addition, officials do not yet know the long-term effects of AFM.

According to the CDC 127 people are believed to be sick with the illness. The disease starts out like the common cold, however, children infected with AFM soon have trouble moving their arms and legs. CNN found 47 confirmed cases and 49 more that were suspected or being investigated, for a total of 96 cases in 30 states in 2018. But Messonnier cautioned that it would be "premature" to conclude that this year will be the same as the earlier years.

The two cases this year were in the southern and southeastern parts of the state.

The CDC says the illness could be caused by viruses, environmental toxins, genetic disorders, or a condition in which the immune system attacks body tissues. This is the first report of potential AFM to the NDDoH.

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Officials call the condition acute flaccid myelitis or afm.

"Nobody really knows treatment protocols, they don't know prognosis, and they can't really give parents an answer as to where this is coming from", she said.

Symptoms of AFM include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs, the CDC says.

"We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly, and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care, " she said, according to NPR. AFM symptoms include sudden muscle weakness in the arms or legs, sometimes following a respiratory illness.

In some individuals, health officials have determined that the condition was from infection with a type of virus that causes severe respiratory illness.

Yet, more than four years after health officials first recorded the most recent uptick in cases, much about the national outbreak remains a mystery.

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"It's definitely not been transmissable from person to person from what the investigation so far has seen". West Nile virus is also not a culprit, she said.

"They told us there was no cure". It recently received increased reports of suspected AFM cases with onset of symptoms in August and September.

Messonnier said the CDC has tested every stool specimen from AFM patients.

That's up from 22 people who were said to have it in 2015. But, if their child is diagnosed, parents should prepare for extensive physical therapy - therapy that isn't always covered by insurance, he said. That makes 2018 look like it might end up being a year with more cases than usual, the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier told reporters. But some state health departments have been making public their reported cases.

So far, the CDC hasn't seen any geographic patterns based on reporting from states.

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