Second case of rare nervous system disorder confirmed in Iowa

There is no known specific treatment for the disease known as acute flaccid myelitis

There is no known specific treatment for the disease known as acute flaccid myelitis

The symptoms in the latest case match those of the other children in Minnesota who have been diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, health officials said Tuesday. The U.S. has had 386 confirmed cases since August 2014.

"This remains a rare syndrome, but the similarities to poliomyelitis, polio-like illness, are concerning and bear close monitoring", Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, told ABC News in an interview. He and Tyler say the CDC is being overly cautious in not acknowledging enterovirus D68's role in the illness.

Early symptoms mirror those of a common cold such as cough, congestion, and fever.

"This is actually a pretty dramatic disease", she said.

Yet, more than four years after health officials first recorded the most recent uptick in cases, much about the national outbreak remains a mystery.

Messonnier said the CDC has tested every stool specimen from AFM patients.

When AFM strikes, patients experience sudden weakness, as well as loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the arms and legs.

So far, 62 cases have been confirmed in 22 states, the CDC said. One child died from AFM in 2017.

Right now, it's unclear what has caused the AFM cases in Illinois, Colorado, and Pittsburgh.

Wolfson Children's Hospital wants to make sure parents know this is not an outbreak. Seven children have been affected in that state.

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Rathore, the Jacksonville specialist, said he was not shocked at seeing a case this year.

But the CDC still has suggestions to decrease the likelihood of getting the disease.

"AFM is a condition that is characterized by flaccid paralysis". He redirects redundant nerves from other parts of the arm or abdomen to replace those lost to the disease.

Verma, of Children's Healthcare, said unfortunately there is no cure for acute flaccid myelitis, but he said there are ways to manage the symptoms, and he added that rehabilitation can improve function and quality of life. But treatments for the infection itself remain elusive. She also said West Nile virus hasn't been linked to any of these cases, either. The first six victims were hospitalized. Polio was eradicated in the vaccination. The Chinese have developed a vaccine against enterovirus A71, but it is not available in the US, he adds. The CDC says the main culprit can be a virus, environmental toxins, or genetic disorders. It's another feature of the disease that's reminiscent of polio. Whereas polio infected tens of thousands of children, AFM has struck just over 100 every other year.

AFM is a condition in which the gray matter of the spinal cord becomes damaged, leading to muscle weakness and paralysis in one or multiple limbs.

AFM is still a mystery to health care officials.

According to CNN, the average age of all patients in confirmed patients is 4 and more than 90 percent of the cases occur in children under the age of 18.

Most kids who contract an enterovirus only suffer an upper-respiratory infection, Pardo-Villamizar and Dominguez said.

"She couldn't hold herself up and everything".

What's the prognosis for someone diagnosed with AFM?

"It seems like they're mostly clustered in the summer, but they can occur throughout the year", said Berbari.

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