Senator urges Congress to fund battle against polio-like disease

Senator urges Congress to fund battle against polio-like disease

Senator urges Congress to fund battle against polio-like disease

The illness could have many causes, officials said, such as viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders. AFM has tended to proliferate between August and October each year, correlating with the onset of cold and flu season, and spiking every two years since 2014 (so, 2014, 2016, and this year). AFM typically develops in the wake of an enterovirus (think: respiratory issues, fever), most often in children. Today, conservative estimates are that more than 430 cases have been confirmed since the first diagnosis.

Confirmed cases of AFM by state from January 1, 2018, through November 23, 2018.

Hawaii is not among the 31 states where the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis - a polio-like disease. More than 90% of the 440 cases reported in the last four years were in children under the age of 4, CNN reported.

In addition to the 116 confirmed diagnoses, 170 possible AFM cases are now under investigation.

Federal officials recently announced that they are setting up a task force to investigate what causes the disease and find better treatments for patients.

"I want to reaffirm to parents, patients, and our nation CDC's commitment to this serious medical condition", said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

The children involved in this outbreak have tested negative for polio and West Nile. One additional suspected case also in the Sarpy/Cass Health Department jurisdiction is undergoing further testing at the CDC. "And in children, which is where we're mostly seeing this condition, it's caused symptoms such as weakness of the arms, weakness of the legs, droopy eyelids, problems swallowing and things of that nature". Ninety percent of AFM cases have been in children, she said. There is no known cause and no cure, as of yet.

AFM-billed as "polio-like" because of its deleterious effect on the nervous system-has been on the rise since 2014, peaking in the fall and mystifying researchers.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Tuesday called on Congress to provide emergency funding for research, treatment and prevention efforts.

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