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AFM outbreak up to 116 cases in 31 states, CDC says

01 December 2018
AFM outbreak up to 116 cases in 31 states, CDC says

"And in children, which is where we're mostly seeing this condition, it's caused symptoms such as weakness of the arms, weakness of the legs, droopy eyelids, problems swallowing and things of that nature".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now investigating a further 170 cases of people with AFM symptoms. The CDC estimates "that less than one to two in a million children in the United States will get AFM every year".

"If a virus is the cause, it's possible the test is not good enough, or the germ left the spinal fluid by the time the tests were taken", said the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who is overseeing the agency's outbreak investigation, in a statement.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging congress to quickly fund research of a polio-like disease that's affected hundreds of children across the country.

"As a mother and as a Senator, I am taking AFM extremely seriously".

AFM is a condition that generally causes sudden muscle weakness. "I am calling on Congressional appropriators to include emergency funding to support the CDC's efforts to learn more about AFM".

The CDC officials said they chose to speak out about the outbreak so that parents can be on the look out for the symptoms.

Safranek said he did not know whether the Sarpy-Cass child has had lingering effects.

Confirmed cases of AFM by state from January 1, 2018, through November 23, 2018. Nineteen states, including Hawaii, had no confirmed cases as of Friday.

Numerous affected children have had long-term paralysis or ongoing care needs.

There is no known cause or treatment for AFM and Gillibrand says the circumstances are similar to other recent diseases that have received billions in congressional funding such as Ebola or the Zika virus. As the number of cases of AFM continue to rise, Gillibrand calls on the Senate to do the same for this serious disease to help protect all children from AFM. "Congress needs to have the same urgency about AFM", she said. However, she would like to see a related appropriations bill enacted by December 7, a looming deadline to avert a government shutdown.