In 1979 Polio Was Eradicated in the USA - but a similar disease has erupted in 100s of children
Nigerian children with polio
10-5-16, (CNN) -- Polio is a highly infectious disease that can lead to paralysis -- even death. Thankfully, most children today are unfamiliar with the virus, as it was eliminated from the United States in 1979.
This week however, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a spike in a mysterious polio-like illness, confirmed this year in nearly half of the states in the country. From January 1 to August 31, 50 people in 24 states were diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis [AFM] .
Q: What causes AFM?A: A number of infectious germs have been demonstrated to cause AFM, including polio virus ...
Most of the cases are in children. Like polio, AFM affects the body's nervous system -- specifically, the spinal cord -- and can cause paralysis.
Unlike polio, there is no vaccine for AFM; what we know:
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