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By Maggie Fox
At least 1
16 people, mostly children, have been confirmed with the polio-like condition called acute windy myelitis, Federal Health Department said on Monday. 19659007] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it investigates 286 cases of AFM, which puts 2018 on track to be a busy year for cases of the little understood syndrome.
“Up until 2018 there are 116 confirmed cases of AFM in 31 states,” CDC said in its latest update.
CDC says it still has no confirmed cause of AFM, which is marked by muscle weakness or paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. But the damage is the type that is often caused by viruses. Although the majority of patients have not tested positive for a specific virus, a family of viruses called enterovirus is a major suspect – especially one called EV-D68.
Enterovirus often circulates in autumn and winter and while rarely causing symptoms worse than a cold, they can lead to complications under rare circumstances.
CDC has noted a second year pattern in the case of AFM, with 120 confirmed cases 2014, 22 cases 2015, 149 cases 2016 and 33 cases in 2017.
“Respiratory diseases and fever from viral infections such as enterovirus are common, especially in children, and most recover. We do not know why a small number of patients develop AFM, while most recover, says CDC.
Possible explanations include the direct infection of the viral infection, an immune response affecting the nerves or a genetic sensitivity class = Maggie Fox is the senior author of NBC News, and today he writes top news and analysis on health policy, science, medical treatments and diseases.