BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed two cases of acute flaccid myelitis in the state and has said that an additional four suspected cases of the polio-like disease are being investigated. The condition, considered rare and mostly seen in children, affects the body’s nervous system, specifically the spinal chord’s ability to send messages to and from the brain. It can lead to muscle weakness in one or more limbs and decreased or absent reflexes, breathing difficulty and problems speaking, swallowing or moving the eyes. There has been a reported increase in cases nationwide since 2014 with 62 confirmed cases this year in 22 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state DPH said it collaborates with CDC to actively investigate acute flaccid myelitis cases. A short brief from the DPH referred to the disease as a “serious condition” for which “there is no specific treatment.” There is also no known cause for the condition that is being studied by infectious disease specialists. Dr. J. Michael Klatte, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Baystate Children’s Hospital, said enteroviruses may be a source. Most illnesses caused by enteroviruses are mild and seasonal, but can be more… Read full this story
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