January 2, 2019
After a record-setting 186 cases of the polio-like disease, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 2018, the peak has passed and instances of it are expected to continue to decline – until 2020.
Scientists don’t know why, but the infection, which appears to attack the spinal cord and cause temporary – and occasionally permanent – paralysis primarily in young children seems to ebb and flow in every-other-other-year waves.
The first known outbreak of unknown cause or origin occurred in 2014. AFM reemerged in 2016 and struck 149 people. Then again in 2018 the disease made a comeback, hitting a record 186 confirmed cases so far this year.
So far, it appears that AFM outbreaks occur every other year – and that each resurgence is worse than the last.
One thing is becoming increasingly clear: we can now expect an approximately 14-month lull in cases of AFM.
During that time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are determined to do their utmost to crack the mystery.
This article was posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 3:54 am