CDC Confirms 62 Cases Of Rare Polio-Like Illness in US, One Case In Ohio

A child's hand wrapped in bandages lies on a pillow.
90 percent of the cases are in children age 18 and under, with the average age being four years old. [sukanya sitthikongsak /Shutterstock]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday released an update on the number of cases this year of an extremely rare polio-like disease known as acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. There are currently 62 confirmed cases across 22 states. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there has been one confirmed case of AFM in Ohio this year.

The disease targets the spinal cord and nervous system, and results in limb weakness.

The CDC was able to confirm that the cases were not caused by the polio virus, according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.

"AFM can be caused by other viruses, such as enterovirus, and West Nile virus, environmental toxins, and a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys body tissue that it mistakes for foreign material," Messonnier said. "While we know these can cause AFM, we have not been able to find a cause for the majority of these AFM cases."

The CDC reports 90 percent of the cases are in children age 18 and under, with the average age being four years old.

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
Schedule
Donate
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.