AMF-The Copycat Disease

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AMF-The Copycat Disease

Wendy Carter, Editor

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From the beginning of the human race, there have been diseases that have threatened humankind in their likelihood, one of the biggest epidemics to hit our race was called poliomyelitis or polio for short. Polio’s greatest impact on humankind was in the late 1940s through the early 1960s. During this time period polio would paralyze or kill approximately  7,000,000 (7 Million) young children, that is over half a million kids worldwide every year that the polio outbreak was occurring. This disease caused death from paralysis of the whole body or it could paralyze in just a limb or two, some people however that became fully paralyzed were put into iron lungs to help them breathe. The devastation that polio was causing was slowed drastically and eventually stopped when Jonas Salk invented a vaccine to prevent this disease in 1955, about 6 years into the massive epidemic. This background on polio is to help you understand the main focus of the article, AFM.

AFM or Acute Flaccid Myelitis is affecting 287 kids in the United States as of the 18th of November, AFM is still extremely small with only affecting 287 kids yet the symptoms of this communicable disease are airily familiar; affecting children primarily weakness in limbs, paralysis of limbs, respiratory failure, and difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech. These symptoms are also what was included in those of the poliovirus, parents born in this era and grandparents born before this are now worrying that what happened with polio will happen with AFM. Because of their similar symptoms and effects that polio and this new disease have, AFM has been called and labeled the Copycat Disease. As of November 29th, 2018, this disease does not have a vaccine and it has little to no treatment options for those with it, parents and others are scared that their children may go to school one day and come home with this disease, it’s every parent’s worst nightmare.

In the world, there are many scientists studying and working hard to create a vaccine to help eliminate AFM from parents and kids everyday lives like we once did with polio. That day might not be today but it will be in the soon future, with upgrades in the medical field the vaccine for polio that took six years should take us less.

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