Acute flaccid myelitis
(Editor's Note: We seem mainstream reporting on this now again, but this has been happening for some time (since at least 2014) Read the articles, watch the videos but we can't live in fear. However, if they can scare us enough, they can make a vaccine they can force us to take. Do your research. Drink plenty of water. Wash your hands. Get plenty of rest. Get plenty of Vitamin D and Vitamin C. Eat clean, whole foods. Don't be terrified.)

AFM, or Acute flaccid myelitis, is a condition which affects the nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, and can result from a variety of causes including viral infections. Of those infected, most will have a sudden onset of limb weakness, muscle tone loss, and loss of reflexes. Still other patients will experience facial droop/weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, drooping eyelids, or difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech.

AFM is not new. It is not an epidemic. It is not surging this year. BUT- with Ebola and Zika on the fore-front of our minds, as the CDC pushes vaccines now more than ever and as our choice to vaccinate hangs in the balance- the medical community IS going to try and scare us this fall/winter- you can count on it.

Here we go. From the article:
"Through July, 32 new cases of AFM have been confirmed across the United States this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a sharp rise compared with last year, when just seven cases had been confirmed by that month. The numbers have risen steadily since April. In past years, most cases have occurred between August and December, with a peak in October.
AFM tracking by the CDC started in 2014 when just 121 cases were confirmed (and that year only children were counted) with the average age of 7. Most of them had a fever or respiratory illness a few days before they developed paralysis and many had to be placed on respirators. The CDC reports that while 85 percent of the children recovered partially, only three of them recovered fully- we have no further details what that even means.

But, health officials and (some) physicians are concerned that the rising number of cases could indicate a repeat of 2014. However, they aren't THAT alarmed because they won't reveal which states have reported cases (or they aren't reporting it because they want to scare and threaten everyone). What we do know is that at least four cases have occurred in California, at least three have been in Massachusetts, and that others have been in Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania New York, and Virginia.

More from the article:
"No treatment other than physical therapy has yet been shown to markedly improve outcomes, although some doctors have reported that treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), used to treat some other viral infectious diseases afflicting the nervous system, might help. It's also been suggested that Prozac could prove beneficial. The degree of paralysis in the first month has generally improved only slightly over the course of a year."
The biggest issue remains: what causes the disease. And maybe also, why are they calling it polio "like" instead of polio? If it walks like a duck...(the last dose of polio vaccine is given to children between the ages of 4-6 and the average age for a child to come down with AFM is 7- viruses change and mutate- especially RNA viruses, of which polio is one).

In 2014 during the AFM "outbreak" there was another larger outbreak of enterovirus D68 in the United States. The vast majority of patients infected with the virus only got a respiratory illness, but there were those who were convinced that EV-D68 was the cause; not only did both outbreaks occur at the same time but also a study identified a particular strain of EV-D68 in the airways of children with AFM. But this year there has not been an outbreak of EV-D68 reported.

If EV-D68 does cause AFM there will need to be much more study. The bottom line, cold and flu is not a "season". It's a time when people are indoors together and more easily able to share germs. It's also a time when most have less access to sun, water consumption declines, and many turn to winter or "comfort foods" that are full of excess fat and sugar. Get good, healthy amounts of Vitamin D and C, eat whole (and even raw) foods, and don't forget to drink water and get good sleep.

XO- Erin


The Washington Post