Rare, polio-like disease hits two kids in NYC

Rare, polio-like disease hits two kids in NYC

Rare, polio-like disease hits two kids in NYC

The Department of Health says it is best to get vaccinated for the illnesses that cause it, to wash your hands and to avoid close contact with sick people.

This map shows confirmed cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis across the USA, as of November 23, 2018. "Parents are extremely anxious about what this disease means for their children, but doctors still don't know what causes AFM or how it spreads", said Senator Gillibrand. Twelve states have reported a single case. In the most severe cases, the illness can leave a patient paralyzed.

Since 2014 there have been 430 confirmed cases of AFM across the nation, although just two confirmed cases in New York State.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed on Monday that the number of suspected AFM cases has grown to 286, though medical experts are still baffled as to what is causing the spike in the rare illness.

Two cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) are the first to be identified in the city.

26, 116 confirmed cases have been reported in 31 states.


The New York Democrat has written a letter to Congressional appropriators, asking for CDC funding in the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bill.

"If a virus is the cause, it's possible the test is not good enough, or the germ left the spinal fluid by the time the tests were taken", said the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who is overseeing the agency's outbreak investigation, in a statement. Rare but serious, the condition affects mostly children and as yet has no clear cause. "This Task Force will ensure that the full capacity of the scientific community is engaged and working together to provide important answers and solutions to actively detect, more effectively treat, and ultimately prevent AFM and its consequences".

The number of cases of AFM are growing year after year.

The children's initial symptoms are similar to those associated with viral infections, she said.

Most patients will have sudden onset of limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging congress to quickly fund research of a polio-like disease that's affected hundreds of children across the country.

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