To All Orange County Providers:

Last week the California Department of Public Health distributed an update on Acute Flaccid Myelitis, seen below. There haven’t been any recent cases of AFM in Orange County, but providers are encouraged to report any suspect cases of AFM, regardless of age, to Orange County Public Health at 714-834-8180. Please feel free to share this information with colleagues.

Maintaining Vigilance for Acute Flaccid Myelitis Cases - 2018

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare neurological condition with sudden onset of limb weakness. Recent media attention has heightened awareness to the cases seen in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, Illinois, and Pennsylvania this year. Nationally, from January 1 through September 30, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 38 confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in patients from 16 U.S. states. During this same time, California has received 4 suspect AFM reports (not yet classified) compared with 29 confirmed cases in 2016 and 9 in 2017. Because AFM is passively monitored, it is unclear whether these data represent a true decrease in cases or if AFM has been underreported in recent years.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and CDC remain interested in patients with acute flaccid limb weakness of unknown etiology and where other conditions that can mimic AFM (e.g., Guillain-Barré syndrome, spinal cord trauma, spinal mass, stroke, and botulism) are not suspected.

CDPH continues to urge clinicians to contact their local health departments when encountering suspect AFM cases (patients with acute flaccid limb weakness of unknown etiology).