Case Study:Acute flaccid myelitis

Researchers are working hard to answer several questions about acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). Some recent information seems to be pointing the finger at enterovirus (specifically EV-D68 and possibly EV-A71 strains).

Currently, almost 600 cases of AFM have been confirmed in the United States since 2014. In a study published in Nature Medicine, researchers found enterovirus antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid of 70% of the children with AFM. By comparison, in a study of children with other neurologic conditions, enterovirus was found in only 7%.


The other questions researchers are trying to answer include:


Are the every-other-year AFM surges related to the enteroviruses or human immunity?

Why do the few AFM cases in off-peak years have more varied causes?

Many children are exposed to enteroviruses, so why do so few develop AFM?


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