Data Collection

Since AFM is a relatively new condition, we need information on all patients to help us better understand the spectrum of AFM illness, all possible causes, risk factors, and outcomes for this condition.

Quick Resources

Send all information about patients who meet the clinical criteria for AFM (sudden onset of flaccid limb weakness), regardless of laboratory results or MRI findings, to your state or local health department as soon as possible.

Health Departments
Send the patient summary form and additional case information for each patient to CDC regardless of any laboratory or MRI results.  Health departments can contact CDC at or 404-471-8442 for further information on sending forms.

How to send information about a patient under investigation (PUI) for AFM


Identify PUI for AFM: patient with onset of acute flaccid limb weakness.

Send information for all patients with acute onset of neurologic illness associated with limb weakness that meet the clinical criteria for AFM regardless of any laboratory results or MRI findings.

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Clinicians: Collect specimens

Collect specimens

  • Collect specimens as close to onset of limb weakness as possible and handle and store as directed.
  • Work with your health department to coordinate submission of specimens for testing at CDC.
    • Specimens should be shipped overnight to arrive at CDC Tuesday through Friday.
    • Specimen submission form (DASH pdf icon[1 page]) should be completed for each specimen submitted.

Specimen container types


Contact health department

  • Contact your state or local health department when you identify a PUI for AFM.
  • For contact information for your health department, call the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770‑488‑7100.
  • Coordinate with your health department to send information about PUIs and ship specimens to CDC.

Compile clinical information

The health department will request additional information contained in medical records. Send copies of the following to your health department for sharing with CDC in order to assist with case classification and identification of potential etiologies:

  • admission and discharge notes
  • neurology and infectious disease consult notes
  • MRI report
  • MRI images
  • vaccination history
  • laboratory test results
Health Departments

Send information to CDC

Health departments should complete the AFM patient summary form, compile medical records, and send information to CDC.

  • Send information for each patient under investigation (PUI) for AFM to CDC using a secure CDC FTP site.
  • Health departments should also send information about every death of an AFM case to CDC.
  • Contact CDC by email at or via secure fax at 404-471-8442 for further information on sending forms.
Health Departments

Relay case classification to patient’s clinician

Patients will be classified by national AFM experts according to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) AFM case definitionpdf iconexternal icon.  After expert review, patient classification is given back to the health department and should be relayed to the clinician by the health department.


Contact CDC with Questions
  • For health department contact information: Call the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770‑488‑7100
  • For non-urgent questions: Email

Related Links