So far in 2018, CDC has confirmed 62 cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 22 states. IDPH has received two AFM reports this year. Both cases were children (one in Western Iowa is still being investigated and the other is in Central Iowa).
AFM is a rare condition that affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs. The cause for most cases remain unknown, but potential causes include viruses (like enteroviruses, adenoviruses and West Nile virus), environmental toxins and genetic disorders.
In addition to sudden onset of arm or leg weakness, some people will have
• neck weakness or stiffness,
• drooping eyelids or a facial droop, or
• difficulty swallowing or slurred speech.
If a patient presents with symptoms consistent with AFM, call CADE at 800-362-2736 and we will work with health care providers to collect specimens and obtain the patient history.
For more information about AFM, visit