AFM cases likely peaked for 2018, CDC says

Cases of acute flaccid myelitis — the rare, polio-like illness infecting children nationwide — appear to have peaked for 2018, according to a CDC update.

As of Dec. 3, the CDC confirmed 134 AFM cases across 33 states, marking an 18-case increase from the week prior. An additional 165 cases are still under investigation.

In the update, the agency said most AFM cases occur between August and October before declining in November.

"That pattern appears to be repeating in 2018 because states have reported fewer [patients under investigation] over the past couple of weeks," the agency said. "CDC expects this decline to continue."

In total, the CDC has confirmed 458 AFM cases since 2014, 90 percent of which occurred in children under age 4. The exact cause of the illness is still unknown.

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