The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recently come out with a report that America has been hit with an outbreak of a polio-like disease. As of now a cure for the acute flaccid myelitis has not been found, and what is even more troubling is that scientists cannot figure out what exactly is causing the disease.
Scientists are reporting that the disease is causing weakness in the limbs and is similar to polio in that regard. The first time the disease was reported is 2014 when 120 cases appeared. Since then, almost 400 reported cases have been confirmed. The most unsettling part about all of this is the fact that even after four years the CDC is no closer to a cure.
The good thing is that so far only one in a million people suffer from AFM every year. Still, doctors recommend seeking medical help immediately if any symptoms are noticed.
The disease starts by hitting the spinal cord before spreading to the limbs and causing overall weakness and loss of muscle tone. There are other symptoms associated with the disease like neck pain, headache, and difficulty speaking. The most severe symptom that can afflict a patient is respiratory failure. In children, the first symptoms are a fever and some form of respiratory illness followed by losing motor functions in one or more limbs.
The CDC cannot even determine what exactly spreads the disease, whether it is a virus or some sort of toxin. One thing that testing has shown is that a poliovirus is not to blame.Unfortunately, since there is no cure, the only thing doctors can do Is to try and alleviate some of the symptoms and prescribe some form of physical therapy.
There are also no indications whether there are any factors that increase the risk of contracting AFM. What is known is that the disease shows up around late summer or early fall. There are patients who recovered on their own, but with no evident reason as to why. Many others are still experiencing symptoms, and doctors are hard at work to find a cure.