The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that a series of rare and difficult to treat cases of paralysis are being seen in otherwise healthy children since 2018. This outbreak is 2018 may soon make a comeback in 2020 the organization warns doctors and pediatricians. The report was published in the CDC’s Vital Signs this week.
The experts have called this acute flaccid myelitis or AFM that is typically manifested as a sudden onset of weakness especially of the upper limbs followed by paralysis and lesions in and around the spinal cord as detected by MRI scans. The cause of this paralysis is unknown and is commonly seen in children.
Researchers believe that the paralysis which is similar to AFP (acute flaccid paralysis) seen with polio virus infections could be caused by a relative of the same virus.
At present the disease remains incurable and difficult to treat. For most patients the paralysis is self-limiting and often goes away on its own and many regain their muscle strength and recover the complete use of their paralyzed limbs with time. In some however the paralysis may remain constant and residual weakness may continue. In a small fraction, the paralysis may affect the respiratory muscles and lead to respiratory failure and even death, explain the researchers.