Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Building, Roybal Campus, Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a task force that will bring together experts from different disciplines to help figure out what's causing acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, a polio-like disease affecting children.
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

CDC creates task force to solve mystery of polio-like illness paralyzing children

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Dozens of families across the country are enduring the horror of seeing a child go from happy and healthy to paralyzed and in pain.

That's exactly what happened to 3-year-old Aamira, who was diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis or AFM.

>> Related: Mother says daughter with polio-like illness is showing signs of recovery

Her mom Reba Faircloth told us she was shocked by what the doctors told her.

“They told me it's a polio-like strand, but it's not polio. It hit me hard,” said Faircloth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now launched a task force that will bring together experts from different disciplines to help figure out what's causing AFM.

>> Related: CDC confirms 90 cases of polio-like syndrome, Acute Flaccid Myelitis

In a news release, the CDC called it a "critical public health issue."

The CDC has an entire section on its website dedicated to AFM, it’s even started reporting case counts every Monday.

The task force, which is made up of science, medicine and public health experts, will also work to figure out proper treatment and what can be done to prevent it. 

The illness is nothing new but the spike in cases is. The CDC started noticing the increase in 2014.

So far this year, there have been 106 confirmed cases in 29 states all but five have been in children ages 18 or younger.

>> Related: Acute Flaccid Myelitis: 7 things to know

Doctors say most patients have cold-type symptoms before the illness progresses into weakness in the limbs. 

The good news is Aamira has gradually gotten better. After spending weeks in the hospital, she was eventually able to walk on her own.

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