The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today urged medical professionals to quickly recognize symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis — a polio-like illness that mostly affects children and can cause paralysis — and report all suspected cases to their health department. Early recognition and reporting are critical for providing patients with appropriate care and rehabilitation, and better understanding AFM, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.
 
“CDC continues to pursue the definitive cause and mechanisms that define this disease and we sincerely appreciate the important contributions of the AFM Task Force in helping us get closer to critical answers,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D. “I urge physicians to look for symptoms and report suspected cases so that we can accelerate efforts to address this serious illness.”
 
Late summer and the fall is the season for AFM, according to CDC. The agency began tracking AFM in 2014 when the first outbreak of 120 cases occurred. The largest outbreak occurred last year with 233 cases in 41 states.
 

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