116 Confirmed Cases of Polio-Like Illness in the US



Melanie Kibler

UNITED STATES – The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed 116 cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare polio-like disease, have affected the United States.  The most troubling symptom that the disease causes is sudden onset paralysis.  

Acute flaccid myelitis has been spread nationwide, effecting 31 confirmed states.  The highest number of cases is found in Colorado with 15 confirmed cases and this is followed closely behind by Texas with 14 cases.  

Experts are unsure if the states with higher AFM cases are more at risk or if those states are better at identifying and reporting the disease.  Even though the CDC has encouraged doctors to report cases, they do not have to.

The CDC has said that the cause of the illness is unknown, but the disease seems to affect people who had prior viral illnesses.  Children are more likely to catch viral infections, so they are also more likely to contract AFM.

Doctors are still not sure why some people get over their viral infections, but others catch AFM.  The CDC said they will continue to investigate.