The increase in cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 2018 in the United States, with 62 cases in 22 states confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of October 16, 2018, follows the biennial pattern of late summer/early fall spikes in reported cases that was first widely recognized in 2014. Cases and clusters of AFM have been scattered throughout the country, and thus some clinicians have less experience with this emerging condition. Health care professionals and parents across the country are concerned for good reasons: the presentation may be subtle and easily missed, the differential diagnosis is complex, there are potential long-term complications, and no established effective treatments are available.
Hopkins SE, Elrick MJ, Messacar K. Acute Flaccid Myelitis—Keys to Diagnosis, Questions About Treatment, and Future Directions. JAMA Pediatr. Published online November 30, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4896
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