The Texas Department of State Health Services said Tuesday three people, two from Travis County and one from Hays County, developed acute windy myelitis (AFM). So far this year, the disease has been reported in 24 states around the country.
AFM is a rare but serious condition that can affect the nervous system, especially the spinal cord of a person and cause muscles and reflexes to stop working.
State officials said that on October 16, 16 people in Texas had developed AFM, according to a report in Statesman. By 2017, there were only five cases in the state, allow it. ] CDC reported There were 72 cases of acute windy myelitis in over 24 states in the United States In this image: A podium with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center Atlanta, Georgia, October 5, 2014.  According to US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 72 confirmed cases of AFM in 24 states worldwide. landed so far in 2018. The children suffer most from the disease.
The agency said that the condition affects an area of the spinal cord called gray matter, resulting in weakening of muscles and reflexes in the body. There has been a steady increase in cases reported in the United States since 2014. CDC estimates that less than one in a million people in the United States will receive AFM each year.
There are various possible causes of AFM, such as viruses and environmentally hazardous substances. A report in People said some doctors believed a virus called enterovirus D68 or EV-D68 was the main cause of the condition. But the CDC has not confirmed it.
“We have not been able to find the cause of the majority of these AFM cases,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC, said. “There is a lot we do not know about AFM, and I’m frustrated that despite our efforts, we have not been able to identify the cause of this mystery disease.”
The condition can sometimes be difficult to diagnose as similar symptoms are also found in other neurological diseases such as transversal myelitis and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Symptoms of the disease are usually compared with polio, but all AFM cases have tested negative for poliovirus. CDC lists a number of symptoms to ensure sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes, face drop / weakness, hanging eyelids, difficulty in moving the eyes or difficulty with swallowing or numbing speech.
The most difficult symptom, according to CDC, is breathing failure. It happens when the muscles involved in breathing become weak. In rare cases, the processes in the body that triggered AFM may also trigger other serious neurological complications. This can sometimes lead to death.
There is no specific treatment or cure for the disease yet. CDC recommends that people protect against polio and western viruses through vaccines and avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes to avoid suffering from the disease.
According to the CDS, 396 confirmed cases of AFM were found throughout the United States from August 2014 to October 2018. A chart showed that the disease spiked each consecutive year since 2014, around August. In 2014, 120 people were diagnosed in 34 states with AFM. It declined to 22 in 17 states in 2015, but spiked again to 149 in 39 states across the United States and Washington, D.C in 2016. By 2017, the number of reported cases decreased again to 33 in 16 states.