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Up to Meggy Fox
Patients with a poliomyelitis-like condition called acute fleectic myelitis almost all of the symptoms of the viral infection were symptoms, the disease control and prophylaxis centers said on Tuesday.
As viruses are the main suspect, causing muscle weakness or paralysis that marks the condition, CDC researchers reported in a new report. Viruses are one called EV-D68, but also a related virus called the EV-A71 and some others, said a team of CDC researchers.
"Almost all AFM patients have reported symptoms and symptoms consistent with viral illness in weeks prior to limb weakness," wrote the CDC team led by Susannah McKay from the CDC Viral Disease Division.
Viruses can directly spoil the spinal cord. "Another possibility is that the pathogen has caused an immune response in the body that causes damage to the spine," writes Dr Nancy Messonnier, telephone counsel for CDC journalists.
"Clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological evidence has so far shown the virus association."
So far this year, CDC has approved 90 cases of acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, and 252 cases are suspected. The CDC said that at least 20 suspected cases were excluded as AFM.
This is the third year when the number of cases has increased. There were also cases in 2014 and 2016. The fact that the annual model corresponds to the virus's disease, doctors say.
The CDC has been struggling to identify the cause of the AFM or to say why it seems to have increased in recent years. It is still extremely rare, since 2014, only 400 people, mostly children, have been affected.
Parents and doctors treating AFM are becoming increasingly inertential in the CDC. But the agency says that tests that have been done to patients do not always give a complete story.
"Often, despite extensive testing, no pathogen has been detected in the vertebral fluid," Messonnier said.
"As a mom, I know how it's a shame for a child. At the moment, science does not give us an answer."
Messonier said that the agency still needs to consider all possible causes of the disease, even an unknown virus or toxic to the environment. But she said that the toxins had moved to the list of suspects, and she said that the children should receive all the recommended vaccines.
"What we do not know is what triggers the AFM," she said. "It may be one of the viruses we have already discovered. It could be another virus that we have not found."
"I'm happy to see that they now recognize that AFM is a possible virus," the Colorado Medical School's coach Dr. Ken Tyler told NBC News.
Tyler and other researchers have noted that they have found convincing evidence that EV-D68 and other viruses can cause AFM. There is also criticism about CDC reliance on spinal fluid testing. By the year 2018, only two of the tested patients in the spinal cord fluid were tested: one with EV-D68 and one with EV-A71.
Finding a virus in the spinal fluid would be a smoking weapon, because healthy people do not usually have bacteria in the vertebral fluid, Messonnier said. Physicians are also advised to use breathing swabs, but even healthy people will have a mixture of respiratory smears, Messonnier said. "We could find other things they do, which they do not miss," she said.
Viruses can cause side effects of the nervous system, including AFM, but also a similar condition called transverse myelitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, as well as meningitis and encephalitis.
"Currently, there are many children in the United States who have a fever or respiratory disease. We do not know how this causes AFM in some of these patients. That's what we are working hard to find out," said Messonieris NBC News.
"No pathogen has been detected in all AFM patients. Therefore, we are not only seeking EV-D68 and A71 but also other things that could lead to AFM."
Polio is the leading cause of paralysis and muscle weakness, but none of the patients with AFM has tested the positive effects of poliomyelitis, according to the CDC. Polio is exterminated in the United States, although it is still distributed in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"Parents and caregivers are urged to get medical help immediately for a child who develops suddenly in the arms or legs," said the CDC.
The physician should ask questions about the symptoms of breathing in any child with sudden muscle weakness and should take breath samples, stool and spinal fluid samples as soon as possible.
"It's also true that there are other conditions that may cause weakness of the members. Parents who are involved should contact their doctor and quickly see their baby," Messonnier said.
Messonnier said that the CDC has worked with national health officials to get more complete and timely reporting of suspected AFM cases. She also said that the CDC would work harder to follow each AFM case to study and understand its long-term effects on children.
"As a mother, I definitely understand why parents are worried," she said. "It's important for parents to understand that it's still a relatively rare condition."