CDC confirms 90 cases of polio-like syndrome, Acute Flaccid Myelitis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still working to narrow down what is causing the polio-like syndrome, known as acute flaccid myelitis or AFM.

There are 90 confirmed cases in 27 states in the nation.

Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole spoke with the CDC to learn more about a pattern they're noticing in patients before they develop symptoms of AFM.

On Tuesday, the CDC said there are now 252 suspected cases, nationwide, of AFM.
The syndrome - more commonly known for being compared to polio -- affects your spinal cord and causes your muscles to weaken.

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Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said they've noticed almost all of their patients report fever and respiratory issues before experiencing limb weakness.

The agency suspects that viruses could also be a major factor in the spinal cord damage they're seeing in patients.

As a new parent, Harrold Guzman told Action News Jax he's not worried about it now... "Statistically, it seems like a low number, particularly in the nation,” Guzman said, adding that one thing that could change that: "If I see those numbers growing, I'll become more concerned.

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Action News Jax spoke to a doctor who says parents have no need to worry.

"We've had 90 confirmed cases, right? No deaths, that's the good thing. Compared to influenza, which is more common — 80,000 deaths last year, hundreds of thousands of cases. That's the perspective,” said Dr. Mobeen Rathore.

He specializes in pediatric infectious diseases at UF Health. He’s also the past president of the Duval County Medical Society.

Instead, Rathore suggests parents pay close attention to their children's day-to-day conditions —instead.

"I feel like with more research, hopefully they can figure it out, hopefully create a vaccine, a curable treatment for it,” Guzman said.

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