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US sees rise in respiratory infections that can lead to acute flaccid myelitis in children, CDC data shows



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Doctors should prepare for a possible surge in young patients with enterovirus D68, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday, and that may be linked to more cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a rare condition. and paralyzing.

There was an increase in acute respiratory illnesses and emergency department visits driven by rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in children and adolescents this summer, new CDC data shows. The increase could be attributed more specifically to enterovirus D68, which, in rare cases, can lead to acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

“Health care facilities should be prepared for potential increases in pediatric health care use associated with respiratory illnesses associated with EV-D68,” the CDC said Tuesday in its report. Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report. “Previous increases in circulation of EV-D68 were also associated with increased AFM reporting.”

AFM causes paralysis and weakness of the arms and legs.

The CDC has detected increases in enterovirus D68 every two years or so, and this month, the agency warned doctors to be on the lookout for infections. The virus tends to peak in late summer and early fall.

The data shows that positive rhinovirus/enterovirus test results “appear to be increasing at a rate comparable to the last few years of the EV-D68 outbreak,” doubling over a period of a few weeks through early September, the researchers said. CDC.

β€œIn 2014, a widespread outbreak of EV-D68 in the United States led to similar increases in severe respiratory illness and medically attended asthma exacerbations and was associated with an increase in AFM cases,” the report says.

In addition to AFM testing, health care providers are urged to test people suspected of having AFM for poliovirus due to the similarity of symptoms.

Enterovirus D68 causes symptoms similar to those of common colds, with cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and sometimes fever. It requires doctors to take additional steps to diagnose.

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