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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019 Jul 12;68(27):608-614. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6827e1.

Vital Signs: Surveillance for Acute Flaccid Myelitis - United States, 2018.

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1
Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC.

Erratum in

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a serious paralytic illness, was first recognized as a distinct condition in 2014, when cases were reported concurrent with a large U.S. outbreak of severe respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68). Since 2014, nationwide outbreaks of AFM have occurred every 2 years in the United States; the cause for the recent change in the epidemiology of AFM in the United States, including the occurrence of outbreaks and a biennial periodicity since 2014, is under investigation. This report updates clinical, laboratory, and outcome data for cases reported to CDC during 2018.

METHODS:

Clinical data and specimens from persons in the United States who met the clinical criterion for AFM (acute onset of flaccid limb weakness) with onset in 2018 were submitted to CDC for classification of the illnesses as confirmed, probable, or non-AFM cases. Enterovirus/rhinovirus (EV/RV) testing was performed on available specimens from persons meeting the clinical criterion. Descriptive analyses, laboratory results, and indicators of early recognition and reporting are summarized.

RESULTS:

From January through December 2018, among 374 reported cases of AFM, 233 (62%) (from 41 states) were classified as confirmed, 26 (7%) as probable, and 115 (31%) as non-AFM cases. Median ages of patients with confirmed, probable, and non-AFM cases were 5.3, 2.9, and 8.8 years, respectively. Laboratory testing identified multiple EV/RV types, primarily in respiratory and stool specimens, in 44% of confirmed cases. Among confirmed cases, the interval from onset of limb weakness until specimen collection ranged from 2 to 7 days, depending on specimen type. Interval from onset of limb weakness until reporting to CDC during 2018 ranged from 18 to 36 days, with confirmed and probable cases reported earlier than non-AFM cases.

CONCLUSION:

Identification of risk factors leading to outbreaks of AFM remains a public health priority. Prompt recognition of signs and symptoms, early specimen collection, and complete and rapid reporting will expedite public health investigations and research studies to elucidate the recent epidemiology of AFM and subsequently inform treatment and prevention recommendations.

PMID:
31295232
DOI:
10.15585/mmwr.mm6827e1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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