Maine CDC Health Advisory

August 29, 2022

Reminder to Report Cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis to Maine CDC

In 2014, national surveillance began for Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). Peaks of cases were observed across the United States in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Given the observed biennial pattern, it was anticipated that there would be an increase in AFM cases in 2020; however, cases plateaued from 2019 through 2021. It is likely that methods of prevention for COVID-19 contributed to the deviation from the previously observed biennial pattern. AFM is still observed across the country; it is unknown if the biennial pattern will resume.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) reported eight confirmed cases of AFM from January 2022 through June 2022. Enteroviruses, particularly EV-D68, are thought to be a likely cause of the condition. AFM is rare in Maine, with four confirmed cases reported since 2014. Common symptoms include respiratory or gastrointestinal illness, rapid onset of limb weakness in one or more limbs (more proximal), loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the affected limb or limbs, facial or eyelid droop and difficulty swallowing or speaking. In severe cases, AFM can lead to respiratory failure or neurologic life-threatening complications. The condition progresses rapidly and can lead to respiratory failure, so early detection and hospitalization are critical.

Advisory (PDF)