Rare, Polio-Like Illness Confirmed In Nebraska

November 29, 2018 - 5:27pm

A rare, polio-like illness has been confirmed for the first time in Nebraska after an eastern Nebraska child was diagnosed by health officials earlier this week.

Acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, is a very rare nervous system disorder that primarily affects children and can cause paralysis in the arms and legs.

Dr. Thomas Safranek, state epidemiologist with the division of public health at the Department of Health and Human Services, says there’s still a question of how AFM is transmitted.

“That’s really the focus of the public health efforts right now – to identify and collect specimens on any identified case and to have them worked up in laboratories so that we know and see if there’s a potential for any prevention efforts like a vaccine. To see if there’s any emerging virus that’s causing this problem," Safranek said.

Since 2014, there have been 440 confirmed cases of AFM in the U.S.




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