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November 30, 2018

Acute Flaccid Myelitis—Keys to Diagnosis, Questions About Treatment, and Future Directions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Neurology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado, Aurora
JAMA Pediatr. Published online November 30, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4896

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.

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