Through July, 32 new cases of AFM [acute flaccid myelitis] have been confirmed across the United States this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a sharp rise compared with last year, when just seven cases had been confirmed by that month. The numbers have risen steadily since April. In past years, most cases have occurred between August and December, with a peak in October.
Among the many unanswered questions about the condition are what causes it, how best to treat it and how long the paralysis lasts. Although most cases occur in children, AFM occasionally affects adults.
The CDC official who leads the surveillance efforts said that confirmed numbers for August will not be available until the end of this month, but the number of reports she is receiving from doctors around the country continues to rise.
“CDC is looking at these trends very carefully,” Manisha Patel said. “We have sent out several health alerts to states to let them know we are seeing an increase in reporting and to encourage them to communicate with doctors to report these cases in a timely fashion.” (Read more from “A Mysterious Polio-Like Illness That Paralyzes People May Be Surging This Year” HERE)