Fact Finding: Acute Flaccid Myelitis Outbreak

Today two news sources ( and ABC news) discussed Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) outbreaks in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided a public health ground rounds presentation on AFM last month. It was from this ground rounds presentation that I learned Acute Flaccid Myelitis in the past was associated with Polio and is now starting to be diagnosed more frequently due to Enterovirus. However, an outbreak by definition is "an increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is expected for that population limited to a geographic area" (Deputy Director for Public Health Science and Surveillance, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, 2012). The frequency has been predicted to increase this year because it has increased every 2 years in the past (since 2014). The current situation has not reached the level of alarm that COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS has and it should not because in the past it has not caused a pandemic. AFM is predicted to be less significant this year than it has been in past years due to the social distancing and hand-washing that has been implemented with COVID. Health care providers n