Health Alerts, Advisories, Notifications, and Updates

Surveillance

Vaccine Information

  • Because the pathogen responsible for causing acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) has not been identified no vaccine recommendations are available at this time.

Diagnostics and Treatment

If AFM is suspected, specimen collection should occur as early as possible, ideally on the day of limb weakness onset. Please call PDPH to coordinate testing of the following clinical specimens (in order of priority):
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Blood (serum and whole blood)
  • Stool
  • Respiratory specimen (including nasopharyngeal aspirate, nasopharyngeal wash, nasopharyngeal swab, and/or lower respiratory specimen)

More information on specimen collection can be found at CDC’s AFM Specimen Collection page

Reporting to PDPH

As part of mandates for reporting of unusual disease occurrences in the City of Philadelphia, any patient regardless of age who meets the following criteria for AFM should be immediately reported to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Division of Disease Control at 215-685-6748.
  • Acute onset of focal limb weakness, AND
  • An MRI showing a spinal cord lesion largely restricted to gray matter and spanning one or more spinal segments, AND
  • No other apparent cause (such as, but not limited to, Guillain-Barrè syndrome, transverse myelitis, trauma, or toxic neuropathy).
OR
  • Acute onset of focal limb weakness, AND
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with pleocytosis (white blood cell count >5 cells/mm3, adjusting for presence of red blood cells by subtracting 1 white blood cell for every 500 red blood cells present), AND
  • No other apparent cause (such as, but not limited to, Guillain-Barrè syndrome, transverse myelitis, trauma, or toxic neuropathy).

Providers should also remember to routinely report any patient (suspected or confirmed) with the following conditions and infections that cause neurologic symptoms to PDPH:
  • Encephalitis or meningitis regardless of etiology
  • Guillain-Barrè syndrome
  • West Nile virus and other arboviral infections
  • Lyme disease
  • Varicella and herpes zoster

Health Educational Materials

  • There are currently no health educational materials posted for acute flaccid myelitis

Links and Resources

Guidelines for Management and Control


AFM Guidelines

Treatment Guidelines


Updated: 09/08/2015 12:00pm