CDC says cases of polio-like illness may have peaked for 2018
The CDC says the number of cases of a mysterious, polio-like condition appears to have peaked for the year. Here’s what you need to know:
- The numbers: CDC says of nearly 300 potential cases reported to it, 134 so far have been confirmed as cases of acute flaccid myelitis, which can cause limb paralysis and mainly affects kids. Most of the latest confirmed cases occurred in September and October, and there's been a notable drop in the number of cases seen in November.
- The background: The CDC says it expects that decline to continue. Health officials first spotted a spike in AFM cases in 2014, and there have been cases each year since. But the number of cases has been higher on alternate years — and this year is one in which the numbers are higher.
- The next steps: The 2018 tally may rise, since the CDC is still working its way through reports from earlier in the season. Dr. Thomas Clark, incident manager for the AFM response, says he expects the final number to be consistent with the 2016 total, when there were 149 cases. The CDC is still working with partners to study AFM. Scientists don’t yet know what causes the condition.