A rare neurological "mysterious disease" has killed a boy and affected as many as 125 children across America as physicians admit they are baffled by their cause.
At least 62 cases of puzzling paralysis, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), have been confirmed in 22 states, and another 65 suspected cases are being investigated, according to health students.
Federal health officials released the updated numbers yesterday, saying that they still have no idea what is causing the spike in AFM or why children are even being struck down with it.
About 90 percent of the cases are children with muscle weakness or paralysis, including the face, neck, back or limbs.
The symptoms usually appear about a week after the fever and respiratory problems.
Although officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledge that they have found no cause, some potential suspects, such as polio and West Nile virus, have been excluded.
One child who was diagnosed with the disease after falling ill in 2016, Carter Roberts, five, died last month.
His family talked about the condition and explained that the doctors needed 19 days to make a correct diagnosis.
At the weekend, his mother, Robin Roberts, said on Facebook that her son vomited only once and then had "little energy" the next day. The next day he [could not] Hold his head up or use his right arm and complain of pain in his neck and head.
"Within 18 hours of returning to the emergency room, he lost all motor skills and needed a ventilator to breathe.
"In 18 days in hospital, he was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, Guillain-Barre, ADEM [Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, a rare inflammatory condition] and Transverse Myelitis. This animal is therefore not easily identified by the doctors.
"He was diagnosed with numerous other illnesses and three MRIs only after 19 days, later he was diagnosed as acute, flaccid myelitis."
She said parents should "know" that some doctors have "sent children home saying it's psychological, so if your child suffers from limb weakness, go to an emergency room and do not let them go home send. "
Roberts has demanded that all cases of AFM paralysis be compulsorily reported in order to "get the right numbers under control". The CDC must pursue this and they can do better ".
The director of the CDC, dr. Nancy Messonnier, told reporters yesterday that the state "has remained a secret so far".
It's "a pretty dramatic disease," but luckily most of the kids are recovering, Messonnier added.
"There's a lot we do not know about AFM, and I'm frustrated that despite all our efforts, we have not been able to identify the cause of this mysterious disease," she told reporters.
Health authorities and neurological experts have teamed to find out what the disease is.
All patients were reported to have difficulty breathing during the week before the illness.
Although the center would not publish a list of states reporting probable or confirmed cases, some states have previously announced clusters, including Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, New York, and Washington.
According to the New York Post, doctors began with an increase in AFM patients in 2014, with about 120 cases confirmed. The numbers then fell in 2015 and 2017 to 22 and 33, respectively, but rose again in 2016 to 149 confirmed cases.
The officials, however, could not determine why the spikes come in waves.
The cases this year seem to spread across much of the country, as did the previous two waves. But, mysteriously, no other country has reported the two-year pattern in the US, Messonnier said.
She added, "As a parent, I understand what it's like to be afraid to have your child, and parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases we're seeing now.
"We recommend seeking immediate medical attention if you or your child develops a sudden weakness of the arms and legs."
The cases in 2014 and 2016 have been attributed in part to certain strains of respiratory germs, so-called enteroviruses, which are most prevalent in summer and autumn.
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Most enterovirus-infected people have minor symptoms such as cough and runny nose. And although enteroviruses were found in some paralysis, it was not found in others, say CDC officials.
As there is no established cause, health authorities confirm cases by reviewing brain scans and symptoms.
What is acute flaccid myelitis (AFM)?
It is a rare but serious condition affecting the nervous system.
AFM works specifically on the spinal cord region, the so-called gray matter, which weakens the muscles and reflexes of the body.
There are a variety of possible causes, such as viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders.
Most people suddenly experience arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes.
In addition, some sufferers have facial weakness / weakness; Difficulty moving her eyes; drooping eyelids or difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.
Some people may not be able to administer urine.
If you or your child experiences any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Fewer than a million people in America get AFM every year.
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