An Analysis of Risk Communication Surrounding Increases in a Polio-like Condition in the U.S.

In 2014, CDC started receiving an increase in reports of children in the United States with unexplained limb weakness or paralysis (120 total cases). These children were later confirmed by neurology experts to have a rare condition called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists created a standardized case definition for AFM in 2015, allowing CDC to establish standardized surveillance to monitor AFM, determine possible causes and risk factors, and attempt to estimate the baseline incidence.

June 18, 2019

Acute Flaccid Myelitis – Surveillance updates and CDC activities, 2018

Presented December 20, 2018.

The presentation will provide a summary of the epidemiology of AFM during the increase in cases in 2018 and updates on CDC’s AFM activities.


Adriana Lopez, MHS, Epidemiologist, Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases 

Zach Stein, MPH, Syndromic Surveillance Analyst, ICF Contractor Supporting Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services 

December 21, 2018

Acute Flaccid Myelitis Diagnosis Codes - Kansas Department of Health and Environment

This syndrome was created to query ESSENCE for KS ED visits potentially associated with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). Diagnosis codes were provided to KDHE by a CDC AFM contact and originally included approximately 100 codes that could encompass most presentations of AFM. This code reflects a shortened list selecting those codes deemed most likely to accurately reflect AFM.

Syndromic Surveillance System - NSSP ESSENCE

Data Source - Emergency Room Visits

Fields Used - Discharge Diagnosis History

October 27, 2017

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National Syndromic
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The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

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