Acute Flaccid Myelitis: Polio-like Condition Resurgence in Canada & US

acute flaccid myelitis

Parents should be on the lookout for a polio-like condition that can paralyze young kids. Though a rare condition, Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM, health officials worry that a rise in cases during the pandemic could complicate matters.

Although AFM is not new, it has doctors concerned because it peaks every other year.

The last time it peaked was in 2018. So, it seems like 2020 is the year for yet another health concern amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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This year, there were 16 confirmed cases in the U.S. There are another 38 cases still under investigation, according to the CDC, which warns of another outbreak this fall.

But in 2018, there were 238 confirmed cases of AFM in the United States.

Symptoms of AFM

  • Sudden weakness in one or more limbs
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Facial drooping

It could be caused by different types of infections, like West Nile, enteroviruses, and even auto- immune diseases. Respiratory failure in severe cases can occur.

This year in Canada, there have been less than 5 cases, but a more detailed report will be out in the fall.

What to do if Your Child Displays AFM Symptoms


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