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Another spike came in 2016.

They also know that all six children developed the disease around the same time. She suspects that a host of factors play a role in the likelihood of getting AFM, but more cases must be reviewed in order to find an answer.

It attacks the nervous system, specifically the spinal area.

The CDC says AFM's cause can vary from a virus to environmental toxins to genetic disorders.

Health officials Arkansas and Oklahoma say a rare illness that's being compared to polio may have reached the states as it spreads across the U.S. Maryland's first case was reported September 21.

Still, because this is a "pretty dramatic disease", Messonnier said health officials want to raise awareness about the symptoms to make sure parents seek medical care immediately if their children show a sudden onset of weakness or loss of muscle tone in their arms and legs. Officials said some patients diagnosed with AFM recover quickly, while others need ongoing care. "The data on the recently reported cluster of cases of AFM will have to be carefully evaluated to better understand the role of EV-D68 in this new outbreak". Then in 2016, there were 149 confirmed cases.

"We see it peaking every two years", he said in an interview Wednesday.

First recognized in 2014, AFM remains mysterious. And in very rare cases, AFM can trigger fatal neurological complications.

These symptoms are similar to the poliovirus (which was eliminated in the United States in 1979 after a successful national vaccination program) as well as non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and the West Nile virus.

Among the concerns the CDC has are that the agency does not know the cause of AFM, why there has been an increase in cases since 2014, or the long-term effects of the illness.

The CDC says there are preventative measures people can take to reduce the risk of infections that could lead to AFM.

In some individuals, health officials have determined that the condition was from infection with a type of virus that causes severe respiratory illness.

The vast majority of cases are in children, particularly young kids, Benson said. This year to date there are about 38 cases nationwide, 16 states in all.

"It's definitely not been transmissable from person to person from what the investigation so far has seen".

Still, both stated because there isn't a clear picture of which children may be at risk for developing AFM, parents should be observant for any changes if their child should get sick.

Messonnier said the CDC has tested every stool specimen from AFM patients.

The CDC is actively investigating and monitoring disease activity and recommends taking standard prevention measures such as hand-washing, protecting oneself from mosquito bites and staying up-to-date on vaccinations. If it affects the diaphragm and disrupts breathing, patients may be put on a ventilator. In 2015, the CDC identified 22 patients who exhibited symptoms of AFM. "So we're very lucky that he had (physical therapy) through early intervention". Only one death has been reported, which involved an AFM illness reported in 2017.

"Families really sticking with it are seeing slow but steady recovery", he said.

The virus has been confirmed for 62 cases in 22 states, including seven in Minnesota, according to media reports.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, so far there has been one confirmed case in Ohio.


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