CDC: Mysterious paralyzing illness reported in 22 states

Case Of Polio-Like Illness Acute Flaccid Myelitis Confirmed In Mass.

"There is a lot we don't know about AFM, and I am frustrated that despite all of our efforts", she said, "we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness".

Doctors say that most of the reported cases of AFM involve those under the age of 18. The agency said it is very concerned about it. The polio-like illness causes limited mobility or paralysis.

They also wanted to raise awareness about the condition so parents can seek medical care if their child develops symptoms, and so physicians can quickly relay reports of the potential illness to the CDC. Of these, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states.

Messonnier stressed the rarity of the condition, emphasizing that it happens in fewer than one in a million children in the U.S. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in 22 states, based on findings from MRI studies and the cluster of symptoms a child has.

The CDC says to be on the lookout for the onset of arm or leg weakness, and loss of muscle tone and reflexes.

As CDC scientists search for the root cause of the mysterious ailment, the organisation has urged healthcare providers to be extra vigilant when dealing with patients displaying limb weakness and mobility issues.

There are five cases of AFM in Maryland.

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According to the Douglas County Health Department, a suspected case of AFM is being investigated in a young child.

The number of cases in 2018 is on track to match a similar number of cases in 2014 and 2016.

Some patients diagnosed with AFM were found to have enterovirus D68, a cousin of poliovirus, in their systems. "Most of the people who get sick have had a viral disease and then it comes after that generally but there's a great deal of research that needs to be done on this". Scientists are investigating a number of causes, including viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders, the CDC said on its website. The CDC's surveillance shows an increase in AFM cases beginning this August, as well.

"As we work to better understand what's causing AFM, parents can help protect their children by washing your hands, staying up to date on recommended vaccines and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites", Messonnier said. It could be potentially deadly if the diaphragm is paralyzed because the child would be unable to breathe.

"Many times it can start with what looks like a respiratory illness, a little bit of a fever", Narula said.

On Monday, CNN reached out to health departments in every state and received responses from 48 states plus the District of Columbia.

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