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October 16, 2019

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CDC Examines Acute Flaccid Myelitis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published an article in the October issue of Pediatrics about acute flaccid myelitis activity in the United States from 2015 to 2017.

Key findings include:

  • From 2015 to 2017, 193 patients aged 21 and younger in 41 states were confirmed to have AFM.
    • Most cases (116) occurred between August and November, with the largest number of cases (143) occurring in 2016.
  • The median age of cases was 6 years.
  • Strong evidence pointed to viruses, including enteroviruses, as having a role in these AFM cases
    • Most cases (79%) had a respiratory illness or fever less than a week before weakness onset.
    • One CSF specimen tested positive for coxsackievirus A16; finding virus in the spinal fluid continues to be challenging.
    • Close to 30% of respiratory specimens tested positive for enteroviruses or rhinoviruses.
    • No single pathogen was identified as the primary cause of AFM

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