Nebraska health officials have documented the state's first case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis. The condition, which causes muscle weakness was reported Wednesday by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
The child, in the Sarpy/Cass Health Department jurisdiction, was hospitalized and later released. Another reported case in Douglas County was not confirmed after a thorough review by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One additional suspected case, also from the Sarpy/Cass County area, is undergoing further testing at the CDC.
“AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects mostly children and we’ve been watching closely for cases in Nebraska over the last four years,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, state epidemiologist for DHHS. “There is still a lot to learn about AFM and more study is needed. State and local health departments nationwide are working with federal partners to investigate cases and the possible causes.”
Symptoms of AFM include sudden weakness in the arms and legs and some individuals also experience facial or eye drooping, difficulty moving eyes or slurred speech. There is no vaccine or treatment available for AMF so health officials advise parents to contact their health care provider as soon as possible if they see potential symptoms in their child.
AFM is not a new condition, but the increase in cases nationwide starting in 2014 is new. From Aug. 2014 through Oct. 2018, there have been a total of 440 confirmed cases of AFM in the U.S.