A task force to investigate a rising number of cases of a rare polio-like disease among children in the United States has been created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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The task force on acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) will include scientific, medical and public health experts who will attempt to identify the cause of the disease and improve patient treatment and outcomes.
AFM affects the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs. The United States has seen an increased number of AFM cases since 2014, mostly in children. There have been 106 confirmed cases of AFM in 29 states in 2018. All but five have been in children aged 18 or younger, according to the CDC.
"This task force will ensure that the full capacity of the scientific community is engaged and working together to provide important answers and solutions to actively detect, more effectively treat, and ultimately prevent AFM and its consequences," CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in an agency news release.
The task force will make key recommendations on how to respond to the rising number of AFM cases.
The task force plans to submit its first report at a Dec. 6 public meeting in Atlanta, the CDC said.
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