Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition. It affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, and the muscles and reflexes in the body become weak. This condition is not new, but the increase in cases we saw starting in 2014 is new. Still, CDC estimates that less than one in a million people in the United States will get AFM every year. There are a variety of possible causes of AFM, such as viruses, environmental toxins, and genetic disorders. Most of the cases that CDC has learned about have been in children.
Clinicians, do you suspect a patient may have AFM?
Please see these CDC resources:
- Job aid on how to send information about a suspected AFM case to the health department
- Patient summary form
- Specimens to collect and send to CDC
- Page last reviewed: April 2, 2018
- Page last updated: April 19, 2018
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