CDC Assembling Task Force To Contain Polio-Like Disease

The agency has also put its epidemic intelligence agents on the case.

There is no cure and no vaccine, and that phrase is making more people nervous, especially parents. Criticized in some quarters for moving too slow, the CDC wants the disease detectives—officers in the agency’s Epidemic Intelligence Service—to review cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), the polio-like paralyzing illness, CNN reports.

In addition, the Washington Examiner reports that the agency is assembling a task force that would find and contain the disease. The “task force would include various scientific, medical, and public health experts to investigate why the illness … has increased in the U.S. over the past couple of years,” according to the Examiner.

The CDC said that 106 cases of AFM have been confirmed in 29 states this year, an increase of 16 since last week. There is also 167 possible cases of the disease that have been cited.

Ninety percent of those who get the disease are children, and there’s a spectrum of how severe it can be. Some youngsters regain the use of their limbs. Others are paralyzed from the neck down and breathe only with the aid of a ventilator.