Government officials have published acute windy myelitis information at https://bit.ly/2qctP3Z(Photo: Montana State) HELENA – Montana has two suspected cases involving…
HELENA – Montana has two suspected cases involving Gallatin County adults of a “mystery disease” that sees a recurrence nationwide and can cause nervous system and spinal cord injury, officials said Friday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluate the cases of suspected acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) at this time, said Jon Ebelt, spokesman for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The latest known case of AFM in Montana was in 2015 and involved a child in Yellowstone County, he said.
“It is important to note that it is not uncommon to evaluate a possible AFM case – the criteria are not accurate and each suspected case is evaluated by CDC,” said Ebelt via email.
News reports have said there is no known vaccine or cure.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Head of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at an October 16 press conference that the Agency has monitored the disease since 2014 when it first saw an increase in cases.
She said the number of cases reported to date 2018 is similar to that reported in the same time 2014 and 2016.
She said that most cases have been among children.
“In 2018, CDC has received reports of 127 patients under investigation or PUI 62 cases have been confirmed as AFM (in 22 states).”
She said about the confirmed cases, the median time is about 4 and more than 90 percent of The cases are in children aged 18 years and younger.
Acute windy myelitis is described as a rare but severe condition that affects the nervous system. It specifically affects the area of the spinal cord called gray matter and causes the muscles and reflexes to become weak. Some news articles describe it as “poliolike”.
“We know this can be scary for parents,” said Messonnier, adding that she urged parents to seek immediate care if they or their children develop sudden weakness or loss of muscle tone in their arms or legs.
She said that CDC knows that poliovirus is not the cause of these AFM cases. CDC has tested each pallet sample from the AFM patients, none of the samples have tested positive for the poliovirus. AFM can be caused by other viruses, such as enterovirus and West Nile virus, environmental toxins and a condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys body tissue as it fails to foreign matter.
“While we know that these can cause AFM, we have been unable to find a cause for most of these AFM cases,” said Messonnier.
It is estimated that less than 1 in one million people receive AFM each year. Possible causes are believed to be viruses, environmentally toxic substances and genetic disorders. Most of them suddenly suffer from arm or stomach weakness and loss of muscle tones and reflexes. In addition to weakness or weakness, some will have face drop / weakness, difficulty in moving eyes, hanging eyelids , or difficulty swallowing or slumbering speech.
State officials said there was no test for diagnosing AFM and the condition was discovered by examining the patient’s nervous system in combination with the examination of spinal cord images.
Messonnier said she was frustrated that despite all the CDC efforts, it has not been able to identify the cause of what she called a “mystery disease.” “
” We fo resolves to investigate in order to better understand the clinical picture of AFM cases, risk factors and possible causes for the increase of cases, “she said. “Despite extensive laboratory tests, we have not determined which pathogen or immune response that caused anorexia or paralysis and paralysis in most patients. We do not know who may be at greater risk of developing AFM or the reason they may be at higher risk.”  She also said that the long-term consequences of AFM are not known.
“We know that some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care,” she said. “And we know about a death in 2017 in a child who had AFM.”