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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 27, 2018

Mystery Myelitis in Children

JAMA. 2018;320(20):2069. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17696

The CDC is warning clinicians and parents to be alert for signs of a mysterious condition that has caused limb weakness and paralysis in US children.

Since 2014, there’s been an increase in reported acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) cases across the United States. Between August 2014 and September 2018, the CDC had confirmed 386 cases of AFM mostly in children with an average age of 4 years. As of October 17, the CDC had confirmed 62 cases in 22 states in 2018 and 65 additional reports were being investigated. These numbers are comparable with the number of cases documented at the same time of year in 2014 and 2016, said Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in a press briefing. Some patients have completely recovered, some have experienced lasting symptoms, and 1 died, according to Messonnier. The agency is posting updated case counts online every Monday.