CDC: Cases of polio-like illness on the rise among children

Federal health officials on Nov. 5 said cases of the rare, polio-like illness called acute flaccid myelitis are still on the rise among children in the U.S., according to NBC News.

At present, the CDC has identified 219 reports of possible AFM cases across 25 states this year, 80 of which the agency has confirmed.

The nation sees a spike in AFM cases every other year, with the CDC confirming:

  • 120 cases in 2014
  • 22 cases in 2015
  • 149 cases in 2016
  • 33 cases in 2017

The agency has not identified a cause for the infections, but the condition "doesn't appear to be transmissible from human to human," CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, said Oct. 29 during an interview with "CBS This Morning."

The CDC said it is testing specimens from AFM patients for numerous pathogens that may be the source of the illness. However, the agency has not been able to detect a common pathogen among all infected patients.

"We are encouraging healthcare providers to recognize and report to their health department patients who they suspect may have AFM, and for health departments to send this information to CDC to help us understand the nationwide burden of AFM," the CDC said on its website.  

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