CDC: Rare, Polio-like Virus Now in 22 States

Contributing Editor

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the cause of a virus that results in weakness in the arms or legs, seems to overwhelmingly afflict children, and has infected 62 people across the country so far this year.

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare condition that affects the nervous system — specifically, the spinal cord. The CDC has seen an increased number of AFM cases since August 2014. Symptoms are similar to complications of infection with viruses that include poliovirus, non-polio enteroviruses, adenoviruses, and West Nile virus.

The CDC continues to investigate who is at highest risk of AFM, how best to prevent infection, and the long-term effects of infection — some patients have recovered quickly, and some continue to have paralysis and require ongoing care.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention