CDC confirms possible case of 'polio-like' AFM illness in Oklahoma

What You Need to Know: Acute Flaccid Myelitis

OKLAHOMA — The CDC confirmed Wednesday one possible case of a polio-like virus in Oklahoma.

Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM is a rare but serious illness that health officials are investigating across the country. AFM causes a form of paralysis and has been primarily reported in cases involving children.

READ MORE: Acute flaccid myelitis: Why is mysterious polio-like illness afflicting children so badly?

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"Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition. It affects the nervous system, specifically the area of spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. This condition is not new, but the increase in cases we saw starting in 2014 is new. Still, CDC estimates that less than one in a million people in the United States will get AFM every year. There are a variety of possible causes of AFM, such as viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders. Most of the cases that CDC has learned about have been in children." - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC officials told FOX23 they are still waiting for lab results detailing the illness found in an 18-year-old in Oklahoma.

A mother in Jacksonville recently reported her 3-year-old daughter has been being treated for a possible case of AFM since Sunday.

The CDC lists the following symptoms as possible signs of AFM, and urges parents to take their children to a doctor if a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness or loss of muscle tone and weakness occur:

Most people will have sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Some people, in addition to arm or leg weakness, will have:

  • facial droop/weakness,
  • difficulty moving the eyes,
  • drooping eyelids, or
  • difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech.

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