State's first case of AFM confirmed in Nebraska child

Mysterious Paralyzing Disease AFM Reported In New York City, 30 States

AFM not confirmed in patient after review

There are many challenges ahead for Xavier and his family as a result of the damage done by acute flaccid myelitis, the rare condition that felled him on Labour Day weekend.

A suspected case in a Douglas County youngster was not confirmed by a thorough review by federal health officials. The CDC estimates "that less than one to two in a million children in the United States will get AFM every year". "We look carefully for that kind of stuff", he said.

AFM is a rare condition that targets the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, and can cause serious muscle weakness or paralysis.

In Maryland, there are three confirmed cases. The CDC does not yet know what's causing this disease, but of the 400-plus cases identified so far, over 90 percent have occurred in children.

"At this time of year, many children have fever and respiratory symptoms".

The officials said that parents can try to prevent the disease by making their kids regularly wash their hands, keep them up to date on their vaccinations, and spray them with insect repellent when they go outdoors to prevent mosquito bites. That could muddy the patient pool as researchers study the condition and seek a cause.

"They think he is going to walk again and probably run again", said his mother Rachelle Downton.

This increase in AFM cases over the a year ago is the third spike of AFM cases since 2014.

Gillibrand says there are several cases still being investigated by the CDC and fears that many children have already died or been paralyzed in unconfirmed cases of AFM.

Each year that cases have run higher - 2014 and 2016 - the illnesses have spiked in September and tailed off significantly by November.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced the diagnosis Wednesday. Although the CDC has encouraged doctors to report cases, there is no requirement to do so. The department has provided information on recognizing, managing and reporting potential cases to health care providers and health departments across the state. "And it's the third spike they've seen since 2014".

While there is no treatment for the condition or proven prevention strategy, washing hands, covering coughs and staying home when sick can help avoid illness.

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