Nebraska health officials have reported the second confirmed case of acute flaccid myelitis. AFM is a condition that causes muscle weakness. In the state's second documented case the child was hospitalized and later released.
Like the first case in late November, this one also involving a child in the Sarpy/Cass health department jurisdiction. “There is nationwide focus on AFM and state and local health departments are working with federal partners to help find answers,” says Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. “Every case reported undergoes a thorough investigation and extensive diagnostic testing, which will help pinpoint exactly what’s causing this disease and how it can be prevented.”
DHHS has shared information on recognizing, managing and reporting potential cases of AFM with health care providers and local health departments across Nebraska.
Fast facts about AFM:
- AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects mostly children and generally causes sudden muscle weakness.
- Symptoms include sudden weakness in the arms or legs. Some people also experience drooping of the eyelids or face, difficulty moving eyes, slurred speech or difficulty swallowing.
- If parents see potential symptoms of AFM in their child, they should contact their health care provider promptly.
- Experts are working to determine the exact cause of AFM.
- There is no specific treatment for AFM or proven prevention strategy, but washing hands, covering your cough and staying home if you’re sick can help avoid illness.
- People, especially parents, may be concerned about AFM. The CDC offers helpful resources online