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No Spike in Cases of Polio-Like Condition in Children: CDC

Latest Infectious Disease News

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — It’s not clear if a rare polio-like illness called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) will follow its usual pattern that should see a spike of cases in 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The disease affects the spinal cord and nerves, mostly in children, and has been linked to a common cold virus called an enterovirus, CNN reported.

In an update Tuesday, the CDC said there hasn’t been a spike of AFM in the U.S. so far this year, and also said that the coronavirus pandemic could affect the chances of a spike.

That’s because social distancing and improved hand hygiene encouraged due to the pandemic may reduce the number of AFC cases, according to Dr. Janell Routh, medical officer and lead for the CDC’s AFM and Domestic Poliovirus Team, CNN reported.

The pandemic may also affect tracking of how many AFM cases there are.

In past years when there have been outbreaks of AFM, cases have typically peaked in September, CNN reported.

As of the end of June, there had been 13 confirmed AFM cases and 33 cases were under investigation, according to the CDC.

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