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Ann Emerg Med. 2019 Feb 27. pii: S0196-0644(19)30051-4. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2019.01.024. [Epub ahead of print]

New Cluster of Acute Flaccid Myelitis in Western Pennsylvania.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
2
Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
3
Family Medicine, UPMC St. Margaret, Pittsburgh, PA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
5
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Neurology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
6
Department of Pediatric Radiology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
7
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Electronic address: sylvia.owusuansah@chp.edu.

Abstract

Acute flaccid myelitis is a debilitating illness characterized by acute onset of limb weakness, with one or more spinal segments displaying magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed gray matter lesions. Since the first outbreak in 2014, tracking by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has demonstrated biennial epidemics in the United States, with a current outbreak occurring in 2018. The cases of 3 children with acute flaccid myelitis who were initially thought to have common nonneurologic diagnoses are presented. Emergency physicians need to be vigilant to recognize the subtleties of acute flaccid myelitis because the illness progression is rapid and therapy is nuanced.

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