CDC: 182 confirmed AFM cases in 2018 so far

The CDC confirmed the number of acute flaccid myelitis cases in the United States spiked to 182 so far in 2018.

On Dec. 10, the agency reported a record 158 AFM cases across 36 states. That number has jumped to 182 across 39 states as of Dec. 21. The CDC has received a total of 336 reports of patients under investigation this year, and the agency, along with state and local health departments, is still investigating some of those patients. 

The new total of 182 cases far exceeds the 149 confirmed AFM cases in 2016, which had been the highest number reported since the agency began recording AFM cases in 2014.

AFM is a condition affecting the nervous system, causing the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. People with AFM exhibit symptoms similar to those with polio, but AFM patients have tested negative for poliovirus. AFM primarily affects children, and the cause of the illness is still unknown.

The CDC created the Acute Flaccid Myelitis Task Force that aims to bolster the investigation into the current spate of AFM cases.

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