The Virginia Department of Health released a letter to clinicians ahead of the approaching acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) season. The letter provides resources for evaluating and reporting a suspect case.
AFM is a rare but serious illness for which there is no known definitive treatment or means of prevention. It is most commonly seen in young children, the majority of whom experience a respiratory illness or fever prior to the onset of AFM symptoms. Symptoms include sudden arm or leg weakness, loss of muscle tone, and loss of reflexes. Some individuals experience drooping eyelids, facial droop or weakness, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, or pain in the arms or legs. Severe cases can experience serious neurologic complications and respiratory failure.