Such illnesses can result from a variety of causes, including viral infections, environmental toxins, genetic disorders, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurologic disorder caused by an abnormal immune response that attacks the body's nerves. AFM has mostly afflicted children.
Xavier's story comes on the heels of a new report on the mysterious, rare "polio-like" disease popping up across the US that has now spread to 31 states, sickening at least 250 children. Since then, 10 more cases were confirmed by the agency.
The CDC has confirmed two cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, in New York City and six in New Jersey, with 116 total cases diagnosed across 31 states in 2018. Nineteen states have no confirmed cases, and 12 states are reporting only one confirmed case, according to the CDC.
The CDC has confirmed 440 AFM cases since 2014, 90 percent of which occurred in children under age 4.
The patient in that case met some, but not all, of the criteria needed for the case to be confirmed as AFM.
Federal officials recently announced that they are setting up a task force to investigate what causes the disease and find better treatments for patients. "There is still a lot to learn about AFM and more study is needed".
While the illness resembles polio, patients test negative for polio virus.
"As a parent myself, I understand what it is like to be scared for your child", Messonnier said.
Numbness or tingling is rare in patients with AFM, though some patients have pain in their arms or legs.
Though it is similar to polio, the CDC said it is not caused by poliovirus.
Anyone who develops acute weakness of a limb, facial/eye/swallowing/speaking or any other muscles should seek immediate medical care.There are many possible causes of these symptoms (for example several infectious diseases including polio, certain autoimmune diseases, strokes and may others), and evaluation to identify possible causes to help guide treatment and care is indicated.
The number of Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) appear to spike in August and September every two years, and researchers aren't sure why.