The uncommon polio-like disease has struck at least three Long Island Children since a nationwide outbreak started in 2014 typically begins as a common viral infection. Emma D’Antonio, who is eight years old from Bohemia, had an ear infection in August 2018. After a week, her left leg started intruding, and she stumbled a few times while walking. The next day her left leg became paralyzed, and within a day, below her neck, most of her body was immobilized. Emma’s mother was feeling helpless and told that she didn’t know the reason for this and how to stop it. Emma got diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis that is a nervous system disorder after three incorrect tentative diagnoses.
Dr. Carlos Villamizar, who is a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has said that the disease injures neurons in the grey matter of the spinal cord that is connected with motor function. Doctors have said that yet there is no cure for this disease and how much of an outcome the condition will have on life expectancy. Most people with acute flaccid myelitis face a sudden weakening of the legs or arms and a loss of muscle reflexes. This disease can weaken the muscles for breathing. In 2018, nearly one in four people got diagnosed with this disease who needed the help of a ventilator to breathe. The federal CDC has verified almost 600 cases of the disease are mostly seen in children.
The pieces of evidence point to a virus as the cause of this disease, but research is continued to find out the root. A study led by researchers of California, San Francisco, and it got published on 21st October in the journal. Spinal fluid of children with acute flaccid myelitis had antibodies to a group of viruses that were called enteroviruses. These antibodies are made by the immune system to protect the body against harmful substances such as enteroviruses. As the reasons for this disease are still unknown, the number of cases is rising in every alternative year.