Tags: toddler | paralyzed | afm | virus

Toddler Paralyzed With 'Horrific' AFM Diagnosis

Two-year-old Abigail Palacios of Georgia was temporarily paralyzed from acute flaccid myelitis, an experience her mother called "horrific." (Video via WSB-TV)

By    |   Friday, 26 October 2018 12:56 PM

A Georgia toddler diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis suffered temporary paralysis, fueling fears about the severity of the outbreak sweeping the nation.

Two-year-old Abigail Palacios began to display symptoms of the illness last month, CNN reported.

The girl's mother, Erica Palacios, rushed her daughter to hospital when her arm went limp and, at one point, the girl could not move below the neck.

She was taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and placed on breathing and feeding apparatus in ICU while doctors ran extensive tests before determining that the girl was suffering from AFM.

"It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life," said Erica Palacios.

Her daughter has since been transferred to an Inpatient Rehabilitation Program at Scottish Rite hospital, and is regaining movement, but her story has left many parents concerned.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that, of 155 cases of AFM under investigation, 62 have been confirmed across 22 states for 2018 alone.

"It's a rare occurrence its one in a million, in a million," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, according to WSB-TV.

However, the number of cases has risen dramatically over the last four years.

The CDC has recorded 362 official cases of acute flaccid myelitis in the U.S. between August 2014 through August 2018. A 2016 report found there were 120 cases recorded across 34 states from August through December 2014.

The CDC said it does not know what caused the increase since 2014, or how most cases of AFM are caused, but experts suspect it may arise from a viral infection.

According to Vox, the illness affects the nervous system and can cause muscle weakness and paralysis, which are often temporary but could persist.

Kathy Harben, chief of CDC's new media branch, urged parents to take preventative measures such as washing their hands, staying up to date on recommended immunizations and using insect repellent.

"As a parent myself, I understand what it is like to be scared for your child," she said in a statement. "Parents need to know that AFM is very rare, even with the increase in cases that we are seeing now. While I am concerned about the increase in cases, I want folks to know this work is core to CDC's mission to protect America from health threats."

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A Georgia toddler diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis suffered temporary paralysis, fueling fears about the severity of the outbreak sweeping the nation.
toddler, paralyzed, afm, virus
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2018-56-26
Friday, 26 October 2018 12:56 PM
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