Written By: Ishton W. Morton – August 13th, 2020
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) is an academic pediatric acute care children’s hospital located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The hospital has 634 pediatric beds and is affiliated with the University Of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.
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Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital are advising parents to be aware of a different kind of virus that is expected to peak in the fall of 2020.
Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare, but serious, illness that affects the nervous system, mostly in children between the ages of 3 to 10, health officials said.
Actually, Marissa Vawter-Lee, MD, a neurologist at Cincinnati Children’s had this to say; “Acute flaccid myelitis first emerged in the fall of 2014. We saw it again in 2016, 2018, and so history tells us we expect to see this specific enterovirus again this fall. An enterovirus is a virus that can give you a cold, runny nose, or a cough. What we don’t know is how COVID-19 will have an impact, so we really just want parents to be aware.”
AFM is related to a viral infection that in some children triggers an abnormal immune response. The infection causes changes in the child’s spinal cord and brain which can result in a sudden onset of weakness in the arms and legs.
In 2018, 3-year-old Elijah Peacock of Northern Kentucky was admitted to Cincinnati Children’s after both of his legs had suddenly gone weak.
Sadly, predicated on the lamentation of Alex Voland, Elijah’s mom said; “It all started with a cold. Normal sniffles and a cough. The biggest concern was that he kept tripping. He’d walk a few steps and then would fall over. A few days later he couldn’t walk at all.”
However, Elijah was in the intensive care unit before getting better and released from the hospital.
Now, at 5 years old, he is in a wheelchair and goes to physical therapy at Cincinnati Children’s twice a week to strengthen his legs.
Voland has continued to say; “Today, he’s doing 10 times better. He can crawl, he can walk with support for short periods. We are leaps and bounds from when we began this AFM journey.” I firmly believed that the greatest pain any concern parent can experience is to see their child suffering and there is nothing he or she can do to bring relief to their child. Yes she and her family will continue to be in our prayers as he continues to get better..
Researchers are still working vigorously to figure out what causes Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). By argument it is enormously uncommon but still an extremely serious neurologic condition. It affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. We have seen increases in AFM cases in the U.S. every other year starting in 2014.
Accordingly health officials with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital have said the hospital is one of the national sites working with the Centers for Disease Control to get answers.
However, while AFM has been called a polio-like illness, doctors are now saying it is not polio. In severe and rare cases, AFM will impact a child’s breathing muscles, causing them to become weak or paralyzed, which is why doctors say it’s important to seek help right away.
As far as one knows or can see no one really understands what they are dealing with. To an incredibly great degree or extent, or considerably health reason this present another colossal cause of tremendously overwhelm stress regarding health issues.
Subsequently, Vawter-Lee said; “With COVID-19 precautions already in place, we hope to see fewer AFM cases since people are already washing hands frequently and practicing social distancing. But, even with those measures in place, we want parents to be aware of what AFM looks like should their child have symptoms.”
Additionally, Ben Kerrey, MD. an attending physician in the Division of Emergency Medicine, at Cincinnati Children’s had this to say; “For parents, I don’t think this is something you need to be at home worrying about all the time, but you should having a basic understanding of what specifically to look out for in your child. It’s going to be a dramatic, obvious difference in your child than what you would normally see. Specifically, sudden weakness in the extremities.”
Doctors said the best way to prevent any viral infection is to practice standard precautions like good hand-washing, avoiding those who are ill, and staying home if you are the one who is ill.
Ironically, doctors are pushing the idea of the flu vaccine reminding parents to get their children treated with the vaccine to produce immunity against the disease.
However, although this immunization is given yearly to protect against seasonal influzena. Flu vaccines lead to immunity in the form of azntibodies about two weeks after vaccination. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines called “trivalent” vaccines are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. vaccines. Many of the people that have taken the flu vaccine became extremely sick. An overwhelming question has continued to plague many; does it really worth it?