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Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM): These Polio-Like Illnesses Are Spreading Quickly

A rare condition known as acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) has been spreading across the U.S. Although it's still very rare, affecting less than 1 in 1 million Americans each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring what appears to be an increasing trend in this polio-like disease.  AFM targets the nervous system, including the spinal cord, leading to weakness in the arms and/or legs and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. In some cases, the condition may also cause difficulty swallowing, slurred speech and an inability to urinate. In the most severe cases, respiratory failure can occur if the muscles involved in breathing become weakened, requiring a ventilator for the person to breathe.  Read more...

 

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