Arkansas Department Of Health Confirms 3 Cases Of Polio-Like Illness

Henrietta Strickland
November 8, 2018

The increase in AFM cases in 2014 coincided with a national outbreak of severe respiratory illness among people caused by enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).

AMF is a rare, polio-like illness, without a preventive vaccination available, says the CDC.

Nearly all instances of AFM occur in children under 18-years-old. The website statement on this issue says, "CDC has tested many different specimens from AFM patients for a wide range of pathogens (germs) that can cause AFM.To date, no pathogen (germ) has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid; a pathogen detected in the spinal fluid would be good evidence to indicate the cause of AFM since this condition affects the spinal cord". They are on the lookout to detect the cause for this infection.

Doctors say the first sign of AFM in a child is usually weakness of one or both arms or legs.

"I was able to move a nerve that wiggles the toes to the hips", said Dr. Moore. But as CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported Monday, there is an unusual surgery that can help restore mobility to some victims.

His family eventually turned to Dr. Amy Moore, of Washington University in St. Louis.

She told CBS News that she is the only doctor in the USA who performs nerve transfers on children's lower extremities.

Because a nerve transfer can result in the loss of movement or sensation in the location where the "donor nerve" was, the procedure can be risky.

Fourteen months ago, Moore performed the nerve transfer surgery on Brandon's leg at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

This compares with just 33 confirmed AFM cases from 16 states during 2017.

During last week's check-up, Brandon was walking again.

Since August 2014 through October 2018, CDC has received information on a total of 404 confirmed cases of AFM, most of the cases have occurred in children.

'Thanks to Miss Doctor Moore, I can go outside, play with my brothers, play football, ' he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the diagnosis of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, over the weekend of two children in Northwest Arkansas and one in central Arkansas, the department said.

Scientists are investigating a number of causes, including viruses, environmental toxins and genetic disorders. During Friday's check-up, Brandon said now he only uses his wheelchair to play basketball.

However, physicians admit they are unaware of the long-term outcomes for those with AFM.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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