Since the CDC started keeping track in August 2014, there have been 386 cases of AFM - mostly in children. "There is a lot we don't know about AFM, and I'm frustrated that despite all of our efforts, we haven't been able to identify the cause of this mystery illness".
"We're actually looking at everything". Another spike came in 2016.
Cases have been on the rise since 2014. But the data reported Tuesday represents "a substantially larger number than in previous months this year", Messonnier said.
There is no treatment specifically for AFM, but affected children can undergo physical and occupational therapy to maximize their strength and adapt to their limitations.
Possible causes being considered include viruses that affect the digestive system called enteroviruses, and possibly strains of rhinoviruses, which cause the common cold, she said. The CDC still has not pin-pointed exactly what's causing this disorder, but they suspect a virus that circulates this time of the year.
Health officials in Oklahoma say an Oklahoma child has been diagnosed with a polio-like illness that is sweeping the country. In 2016, there were 149 cases. The CDC is now investigating a potential case of AFM in New Hampshire, an official said Wednesday.
But this illness is exceedingly rare, affecting fewer than one in a million people.
"As a parent myself, I understand what it is like to be scared for your child". "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now".
Messonnier said some patients diagnosed with AFM have recovered quickly while others continue to struggle with paralysis.
Cases similar to Tunan's son are spreading to children around the age of four nationwide.
Officials said they will be conducting additional analysis on this year's cases.
Medical experts have unable to find a cause nor have they been able to determine who is at risk. Some patients have tested positive for enterovirus or rhinovirus. No pathogen has been consistently detected in the patients' spinal fluid. But she stressed that despite the increase in cases, the illness is still very rare, occurring in fewer than 1 in a million people in the US each year. "Most of the people who get sick have had a viral disease and then it comes after that generally but there's a great deal of research that needs to be done on this". To date, 62 of those cases, from 22 states, have been confirmed; investigations of the others are ongoing. But some states have previously announced clusters, including Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, New York and Washington.