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Disease Name: Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)


Quick Links

Please review the Idaho Reportable Disease Rules (IDAPA 16.02.10) for the most up-to-date information.

CDC Frequently Asked Questions for Healthcare Professionals

CDC Interim Considerations for Clinical Management of patients

CDC Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Fact Sheet for Patients

Links to CDC Patient Summary Reporting Form

Specimen Collection Instructions


Overview / Case Definition

In 2014, the United States saw an unexpected increase in the number of reports of children experiencing neurologic illness with presentations similar to acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). The syndrome was named acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) to better distinguish it from other forms of AFP.

AFM is most commonly associated with poliovirus, but may be caused by numerous other viral pathogens, including non-polio enteroviruses, flaviviruses, herpesviruses, and adenoviruses. At this time, no specific pathogen has been identified as an etiologic agent responsible for the increase in reported AFM.

Most patients with AFM will have sudden onset of limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Some patients, in addition to the limb weakness, will experience facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. In addition to complete neurologic examinations, findings from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) help in making a diagnosis of AFM.

CDC is investigating a national increase in reported AFM in 2016. As of September 2016, eighty-nine persons in 33 states were confirmed to have AFM, compared to 120 persons from 34 states in 2014. More recently, the neighboring states of Oregon and Washington received reports of acute neurologic illnesses which are being investigated as possible AFM cases. As of November 2, 2016, Washington State has two confirmed AFM cases.


Restrictions

none


Reporting

Cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis should be reported under the IDAPA rules as an extraordinary occurence of illness.

Reportable by Healthcare and Labs:

Reportable by Food Service Facility:

Suspect Reportable:

Reporting Timeframe: within 1 day of diagnosis



Diagnosis / Testing

Healthcare providers are advised to consider AFM and to report any illness with onset of acute focal limb weakness, AND


Treatment

Interim Considerations for Clinical Management of Patients (CDC document)


Additional Information

CDC Frequently Asked Questions for Healthcare Professionals

CDC Interim Considerations for Clinical Management of patients

CDC Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Fact Sheet for Patients

Links to CDC Patient Summary Reporting Form

Specimen Collection Instructions


Click to Call South Central Public Health District

Click to Call the Idaho State Epidemiologist

Click to Call Idaho State Communications