Clusters of polio like illness in the US not a concern

Mar 2012
48,966
32,226
New Hampshire
#1
Scary..

In several states there are reports of children developing cases of a mysterious polio-like syndrome known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM).

A cluster of 6 cases in Minnesota has prompted Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to request an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In total 16 states are reporting cases. While it is understandable that the news of a polio-like illness appearing, seemingly, in clustered outbreaks across the United States, it is important to emphasize how rare such cases are and how they occur. Acute flaccid myelitis is a clinical syndrome that is characterized by the rapid onset of weakness in one or more limbs with characteristic changes seen in the spinal cord on MRI imaging. Though AFM is typically associated with children, it can occur in adults as well.

Polio is no longer a threat to the U.S. due to the famed success of vaccination programs. However, non-polio enteroviruses are ubiquitous and cause many different illnesses including common colds, viral meningitis and hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFM).

While there is some mystery around these cases — why are they geographically clustered, which viruses are responsible, what are the risk factors for severe illness — one thing the cases are not related to is vaccines.

Clusters of Polio-like illness in the US is not a cause for panic
 
Jul 2018
682
791
North Carolina
#2
Yea no doubt that makes people nervous including myself as I have 3 kids out of 4 still in the nest .

Enteroviruses are a diverse group of viruses, related to common cold viruses, that notably includes polioviruses. Polio is no longer a threat to the U.S. due to the famed success of vaccination programs. However, non-polio enteroviruses are ubiquitous and cause many different illnesses including common colds, viral meningitis and hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFM).

AFM is something that occurs in about 1 in 1,000,000 people per year and is extremely rare. It likely has to do with a complex genetic and immunologic interaction with the virus that have not been completely characterized.

AFM in its most severe form can lead to paralysis of many muscles, including those essential for breathing. This could result in a person requiring mechanical ventilation to survive. There are no specific treatments for AFM and supportive care is the mainstay of therapy. Most people with AFM never fully recover the strength in their limbs.
This makes me really nervous because it mimics other illnesses, with the unfortunate prospect of having to live the rest of your life similar to that of a handicapped person if you had a severe form of the virus.

ON a side note, I do remember when the bird flu / swine flu was prevalent in Asia. In Japan those good people were / are very diligent concerning hygiene. They are constantly washing their hands, and they wear facial mask whenever they are sick. The Swine / Bird flu really did not effect them nearly as much as the rest of Asia. We could learn from those good people.

The good part concerning this Enterovirus (if there is one) is that it's so rare.
 
Likes: bajisima
Mar 2012
48,966
32,226
New Hampshire
#3
Wow this is spreading a bit. Parents are beginning to freak around here.

Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said this "dramatic" and serious disease is causing a lot of concern nationwide. Of the confirmed cases, 90 percent are children. The average age is 4 years old. "We know this can be frightening for parents," Messonnier said in a news briefing. "I encourage parents to seek medical care right away if you or your child develop sudden weakness or loss of muscle tone in the arms or legs," Messonnier said. Symptoms include drooping face and eyelids, difficulty with eye movement and swallowing, and slurred speech. In severe cases, children might have trouble breathing and need a ventilator because of muscle weakness.

What parents should know about the polio-like paralyzing disease the CDC is warning about
 
Jul 2018
682
791
North Carolina
#6
I think Parents will really freak out even more because winter is coming. Little Johnny will be getting the sniffles and / or a cough. Mom & Dad will then be left wondering / asking the question is this that new virus I heard / read about in the news. It makes me nervous as a parent with younger children.
 
Mar 2012
48,966
32,226
New Hampshire
#7
I think Parents will really freak out even more because winter is coming. Little Johnny will be getting the sniffles and / or a cough. Mom & Dad will then be left wondering / asking the question is this that new virus I heard / read about in the news. It makes me nervous as a parent with younger children.
I hadnt paid much attention to it but just over the last week several of our friends with little kids are going nuts. Its now moving into the northeast and some are saying there isnt enough information out there about it. Schools sent home notices saying "wash hands" and I think parents freaked because they thought it was contagious. But it isnt. Its making them very uneasy.
 
Mar 2012
48,966
32,226
New Hampshire
#8
Social media and internet rumors also seem to be compounding this. There already is several sites claiming this has only happened in the last couple years and its either due to big pharma and vaccines or its biological terrorism. Its making people, particularly those with small children, question every single thing they have done in the past year or so and now they rush to the doctor for every sniffle. I expect with winter, its going to get much worse and the level of panic is going to rise drastically.
 
Likes: Madeline

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