Thursday, October 11, 2018
Acute flaccid myelitis in children seems to be a growing public health problem
The Centers for Disease Control has a detailed information page on increased incidence of AFM, or acute flaccid myelitis, in children.
No specific new viruses have been consistently found yet in the spinal fluid, stool or blood of patients. It’s more likely that enteroviruses (like polio) or some arboviruses (mosquitoes) could cause disease like this, partly as an immune reaction.
It may be a virus that normally causes only the most innocuous symptoms (GI or respiratory) in adults and is easily repelled by normal immune systems. So it may be have like an opportunistic infection in some people.
There have been similar outbreaks in the past. Some children seem to recover completely, others don’t.
Some viral infections, even flu, can cause a temporary sense of weakness as part of the “malaise” that goes with an immune response.
It’s always been a mystery why I did not develop limb muscle strength normally as a boy in the 1950s. I had measles around my seventh birthday (in 1950) but notes from my first grade teacher indicate evidence of a problem before. Has a virus like this been around before? Could I have had very mild polio and not known it?
Could a virus like this have any relation to ALS, which a cousin died from recently?
Interesting. I have my annual physical coon.