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August 7, 2020 - Acute Flaccid Myelitis Recommendations and Reporting

Friday, August 7, 2020

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) is a condition that affects the nervous system, causing a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Enteroviruses, particularly EV-D68, are likely responsible for the increase in cases every two years since 2014. From January 1 through June 30, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have received 33 reports of patients under investigation (PUIs) for AFM; 13 AFM cases have been confirmed in 10 states and the District of Columbia (DC) thus far. Two patients with confirmed AFM died in the acute phase of their illness, one in 2017 and one in 2020. There have been 630 confirmed cases since the CDC started tracking AFM in August of 2014. To date, one confirmed case of AFM has been reported to the DC Department of Health (DC Health).This health notice provides recommendations, reporting guidelines in DC, and resources on AFM. Clinicians are encouraged to maintain vigilance for AFM among all age groups and to report patients with acute onset of flaccid limb weakness to DC Health. Reporting of cases will help states and CDC monitor the occurrence of AFM and better understand factors associated with this illness.