Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

Acute Flaccid Myelitisis a syndrome characterized by sudden onset of weakness in one or more limbs and distinct abnormalities of the spinal cord gray matter on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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ALL cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis are to be reported to the local health department within 24 HOURS of diagnosis.

Most patients will have sudden onset of limb weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Some also experience: facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. If you or your child develops any of these symptoms, seek medical care right away.

West Nile and other mosquito-borne viruses can cause AFM. Using mosquito repellent, staying indoors at dusk and dawn, and removing stagnant water from nearby property can help prevent being infected.

Being up to date on polio vaccinations is one way to protect yourself and your family from AFM. Check with your doctor to make sure your family is up to date on all recommended vaccines.

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