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Polio-like disease expected to increase this fall

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

acute flaccid myelitis polio like disease

Story at-a-glance -

  • While the global polio eradication effort appears to have been successful, routine vaccination may simply have replaced one disease with another
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging health care professionals to be on the lookout for cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) — a polio-like disease that first drew the agency’s attention in 2014
  • Outbreaks of AFM have been recorded on a biennial basis, with spikes occurring in 2014, 2016 and 2018. While symptoms mimic those of paralytic polio, investigations have failed to find the poliovirus in any of the confirmed cases of AFM. At present, the enterovirus D68 is a top suspect in AFM
  • For decades, it’s been known that under certain conditions a phenomenon referred to as “provocation polio” can occur after injections, including injections of vaccines. Yet this issue is being largely, if not entirely, ignored in today’s discussions about AFM

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a very contagious enterovirus infection that usually causes mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all, and most people recover from polio without lasting health problems (nonparalytic polio).

However, severe complications of polio can cause partial or total body paralysis, breathing difficulties and death. The first clinical description of this contagious disease was given by Michael Underwood, a British doctor, in 1789. The first recorded outbreak of polio in the U.S. occurred in Vermont in 1894.

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