Acute flaccid myelitis, the polio-like disease that causes paralysis in kids, to peak this year, CDC says

Adrianna Rodriguez, USA Today

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anticipates 2020 will be another peak year for cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, the mysterious polio-like illness that causes paralysis in children.

The agency attributes this increase in cases to enteroviruses, particularly EV-D68, according to the CDC Vital Signs report released Tuesday. It’s the most common virus identified among patients with AFM.

Researchers had pinpointed enteroviruses in the past, suggesting the devastating disease could be caused by this strain of respiratory virus. Results of a fall study were published by the University of California, San Francisco in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine in October 2019.

The CDC said the disease has peaked every two years between August and November in the United States since 2014, when the CDC first began AFM surveillance.