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More cases of acute flaccid myelitis reported, local pediatrician weighs in



(KRQE) – The CDC is now saying that there are 18 more confirmed cases of polio-like disease, acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, than reported last week.

So far, the agency says there were 134 cases confirmed in 33 states this year

One of which was in San Juan County, New Mexico.

So, should parents be worried?

There are still uncertainties about this disease [1

9659002] The pediatric infectious disease doctor at the UNMH, Martha Muller, says parents should worry about it as they would any other disease.

Keep an eye on all the obvious symptoms.

"The sudden appearance of weakness in one or more limbs, arms or legs, decreased muscle tone, decreased reflexes," said Muller.

The CDC says that most people who suffered from acute flaccid myelitis also had a mild respiratory illness or fever compatible with a viral infection before they developed it.

The AFM is a rare and rare disease.

It affects the gray matter in the spinal cord, causing the muscles and reflexes to become weak and sometimes paralyzed.

Last week, the CDC claimed that over 95% of patients with AFM this year were children under the age of 18, the average age of those infected was 5.

"The number one advice is definitely the search for medical care If there is a concern, do not be shy about seeking medical care so that we can make sure your child gets what he needs with the assessment and management", said Muller.

One parent KRQE News 13 spoke out saying they are not familiar with the disease but say they will continue with general health practices.

"I think that if there were not many outbreaks, for me it's not something to worry about until it becomes an epidemic, like a mother of four at home, in addition to being in a classroom with students pre-k, we're just using the proper precautions just to keep us healthy during the winter season, "said Alyssa Kist, parent.

Muller says the CDC is evaluating the AFM since 2013.

Other viruses such as polio, enteroviruses and West Nile virus have been linked to the disease. But most of the cases that health officials have evaluated do not have a cause.

For now, he says there is no general way to prevent it.

The CDC says it is continuing to investigate and a task force of 12 experts is working on the case.

The department also says that the disease seems to have peaked for the year.

For more information on the condition, click here


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