Researchers close to finding cause for AFM, possible cure

WASHINGTON — There is news tonight about a mysterious illness that has been paralyzing young children.

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started tracking the polio-like illness Acute Flaccid Myelitis, AFM, in 2014 there have been 570 confirmed cases.

Now, a new study points to possible answers about what is causing the mysterious condition.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have traced the illness to a common virus, enterovirus, which typically only causes mild infections.

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AFM primarily affects children and in severe cases can cause paralysis.

"We're at the stage where we feel comfortable that we're getting enough accumulative evidence that we should go in the direction of starting to develop counter measures," Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the NIH, said.

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The CDC has confirmed 13 AFM cases so far in 2019, and is investigating 76 more suspected cases, but Fauci says it is too early to tell if we could see another outbreak this year.

AFM is most common in the fall after children go back to school.