Polio has been nearly eliminated in the United States for almost 40 years, but another disease, which doctors describe as “polio-like,” has sprung up. On Tuesday, officials at the CDC confirmed a spike in the number of cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a disease that affects the central nervous system and makes reflexes slow and limbs weak, mostly in children. So far, doctors don’t know what causes the disease. It could be viral, bacterial, or perhaps even caused by some kind of environmental toxin.
The CDC confirmed 386 cases of AFM between August 2014 and September 2018. Of the total number of cases, 62 of them occurred in 2018, across 22 states.