Children from U.S are in danger of getting a paralyzing illness that is spreading really fast around the country. The doctors are concerned that the concerning increase in the AFM cases could be the beginning of an outbreak.
Acute Flaccid Myelitis is the name of this condition and it has affected aver 50 people from 24 different states this year. 90 % of those affected are children because they are more sensible when it comes to viruses and illnesses. The elderly are also at risk.
This condition, also known as AFM, is caused by several germs such as adenoviruses, West Nile virus, and enteroviruses. At first, it damages the nervous system and the spinal cord, showing symptoms similar to those of polio. Poliomyelitis was eradicated in the U.S thanks to vaccines.
This is not the first time that the number of AFM cases is skyrocketing. In 2014, 120 cases were reported, the number going down to 21 in 2015. The numbers are up again this year and this is a matter of concern for everybody.
The CDC is concerned about the increase in cases, so we’re actively investigating the cases and working really closely with health departments on it,” said pediatrician Dr. Manisha Patel.
In the first days of contracting the disease, children experience symptoms like weakness and loss of reflexes and muscle tone. The worst part is when the facial muscle starts to droop because it makes feeding that much harder. The most severe thing experienced by the patients is respiratory failure as the muscles that sustain the breathing process get weaker.
Scientists say that they are going to test nose, spinal cord, and blood specimens sampled from affected patients in order to find the primary cause of this condition and to work on an effective treatment for it as soon as possible.
Doctors and scientist suggest that it is possible that the condition could appear after catching different types of viruses. This is because the disease spreads fast and covers a lot of ground. They also mentioned that if it was present in narrower areas, the cause might have been narrowed down to one type of germs or virus. This means that doctors need to take everything in consideration so that they can put a stop to the continuous spread of the disorder.
Doctors are advising their patients to be alert and to abide to safety measures which include regular hand washing and using mosquito repellent.
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