The South Dakota Department of Health is investigating the first possible case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) in the state in 2018. The patient is a young adult who experienced a mild respiratory illness with fever prior to developing muscle weakness. AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing rapid-onset weakness in one or more limbs and spinal cord gray matter lesions.
The number of confirmed AFM cases in the U.S. has spiked in 2018, with 106 cases confirmed in 29 states. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are also investigating an additional 146 possible cases of AFM.
More than 90 percent of AFM cases have occurred in children. Symptoms include sudden weakness in the arms or legs, facial droop or weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids and difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.
The CDC has created a number of clinician resources on AFM, including a frequently asked questions document.