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Image Credit: Center for Disease Control

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2 weeks ago

In 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced that he had a vaccine to prevent polio. Yet today, a similar and more impervious disease appears to be spreading once again.

“The mysterious, rare ‘polio-like’ disease blighting the US has now spread to 31 states, sickening at least 116 children,” reports UK’s Daily Mail. “And yet, officials still have no idea what causes acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), nor how to treat or prevent it.”

AFM can not only cause paralysis, but also death. So far, Colorado has seen the most cases, followed by Texas.

Following those states with AFM cases, ranging from eight cases to just one per state, are Washington, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, New York City, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Iowa, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, Virginia and Rhode Island.

Doctors don’t know what’s going on

Doctors are not required to report these cases but are encouraged to do so and experts say to expect more cases to emerge.

AFM has existed prior to now, but doctors are worried by the fact that they are seeing three-and-a-half times as many cases right now compared to last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating 170 other cases where symptoms of AFM exist, in addition to those officially diagnosed.

“No specific treatment is available for AFM and interventions are generally recommended on a case-by-case basis,” Daily Mail notes. “The average age of those affected is four years and more than 90 percent of cases are in children aged 18 and younger.”

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in parents choosing not to vaccinate their kids, but at this time, it is not known whether or not that trend has anything to do with the emergence of AFM.

Doctors also don’t know what the long-term results or effects of those diagnosed with AFM might be. But what we do know is scary enough.

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