By Tauren Dyson
Nov. 5 (UPI) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday confirmed eight more cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a polio-like disease, bringing the total to 80 confirmed cases across 25 states this year.
The eight new cases were detected last week.
In addition, the CDC is investigating 215 suspected cases of AFM. It is unknown how many states are currently investigating cases of the disease.
The rare disease attacks the nervous system, particularly along the gray matter in the spinal cord. It can lead to muscle weakness and sudden paralysis, the CDC said.
About 90 percent of the 404 patients diagnosed with the AFM since 2014 have been children, though adults can develop the disease as well.
AFM symptoms include a drooping face or eyelids, difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CBS This Morning,”It doesn’t appear to be transmissible from human to human. We don’t see clustering in families.”
While experts have yet to pinpoint a geographic correlation for AFM, six children affected by the disease were reported to Minnesota health officials over a three-week period in early October.
The CDC said AFM peaks in between years, normally during late summer and fall.
“Even with an increase in cases since 2014, AFM remains a very rare condition. Less than one in a million people in the United States get AFM each year,” the CDC says.