A paralyzing condition being called a “polio-like illness” by the media is spreading at an uncomfortable pace throughout the United States. NBC News claims that 26 states are reporting a potential 87 new cases of the illness. The CDC confirmed 38 cases in September but failed to narrow those statistics down to exact states. Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Maryland, and now New York, are all individually reporting potential cases of AFM. The NBC survey combines official and potential cases.
The official name of the illness is acute flaccid myelitis or AFM. It is a viral infection, however, health officials haven’t been able to confirm a single specific virus (this is something Dr. Tenpenny spoke about on the radio over the weekend).
Dizziness, an inability to properly walk, difficulty swallowing and arm mobility issues have all been hallmarks of the onset of AFM.
Here are three states’ health officials responses to the NBC survey.
“There are currently two possible cases reported in 2018 that are under investigation,” Brittany Fowler, a spokesperson for the Maryland health department, told NBC News.
“We just had a suspected case reported in an adult male,” said Lynn Sutfin of the Michigan Department of Public Health.
“We haven’t completed our own investigations yet to confirm it’s AFM so we haven’t reported to the CDC,” said Sherri Davidson, Alabama’s state epidemiologist. “It may take a month or two because there’s a lot of documentation to go through and an expert panel that needs to review.”
Not all states are requiring that doctors report the cases, which could lower the number of official cases.
Although AFM appears like polio, it isn’t polio and no vaccine is useful in stopping its spread. However, the buzz for coming up with an AFM vaccine is alive and well. On the other side of the debate, some are speculating that polio vaccines are causing AFM. Some say this idea need be considered. Others speculate, not so much. Some believe that AFM peaks in the months of September and October and is related to enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)
One thing is for sure, AFM is happening and the media is becoming more and more incentivized to cover it as more people become familiar and frightened by it.