USA doctors baffled as rare spinal disease spreads across 22 states

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a suspected case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis in New Hampshire.

So far, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states, the CDC said.

Sister Station WVLT is reporting that doctors diagnosed six-year-old Spencer Hill of Chattanooga with the sickness known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis.

We don't know. Add to that backlash in recent years against vaccinations of USA citizens - the Hollywood types who've come out strong against vaccines, the whispers of government coverups of vaccine side-effects, the reports of Big Pharma's too-tight ties with Big Government - and what results is an open door for disease.

20, the CDC had confirmed 38 cases in 16 states, which aren't required to report AFM cases to the CDC.

Cases nationwide may have gone up since 2014, but Wisconsin didn't see its first case until 2016, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

He stresses that the condition is still extremely rare with only one in a million children now diagnosed. Other symptoms include facial drooping, difficulty moving the eyes, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech.

Although some AFM patients tested positive for an enterovirus, indicating a possible link, not all had the virus. "In very rare cases, it is possible that the process in the body that triggers AFM may also trigger other serious neurologic complications that could lead to death". The highest number of cases took place in 2016, when 149 were reported cases in 39 states.

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"This remains a rare syndrome, but the similarities to poliomyelitis, polio-like illness, are concerning and bear close monitoring", Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, told ABC News in an interview. It's just common sense: If people cross into the United States from areas of the world that are still battling diseases, like polio, then the chance for those diseases to spread in this country becomes a real threat.

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness is aware of one local case of the polio-like illness, which can cause sudden weakness in the limbs and other neurological symptoms.

Rathore, the Jacksonville specialist, said he was not shocked at seeing a case this year.

"As a parent myself, I understand what it is like to be scared for your child".

The CDC began tracking the illness in 2014 and has seen a spike in reports in August and September every 2 years, according to data on its website. In the CDC's health warning the organisation said at least 65 other patients are being assessed after they displayed symptoms of the malady. They have not isolated the cause of these cases.

The CDC is not saying how many states have patients under investigation, only that it's more than 22. Nor can they explain why only a handful of infected children developed AFM.

"We actually don't know what's causing this increase", said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, of the CDC.

Parents can best protect their children from serious diseases by taking prevention steps, such as washing their hands, staying up to date on recommended vaccines and using insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites. Muscles and reflexes are weakened, and some patients are left paralyzed.

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