Acute Flaccid Myelitis Task Force Established

On November 19, 2018, CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., announced the establishment of an Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Task Force to aid in the ongoing investigation to define the cause of, and improve treatment and outcomes for, patients with AFM.


AFM is a rare condition that affects a person’s nervous system, specifically, the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs. Beginning in 2014, the United States has seen an increased number of AFM cases, mostly in children. So far in 2018, there are 116 confirmed cases of AFM in 31 states. These 116 confirmed cases are among the total of 286 reports that the CDC received of patients under investigation (PUIs). Almost all of these cases have been in children 18 years old or younger.


The AFM Task Force will bring together experts from a variety of scientific, medical, and public health disciplines to help solve this critical public health issue.


“I want to reaffirm to parents, patients, and our Nation CDC’s commitment to this serious medical condition,” said Dr. Redfield. “This Task Force will ensure that the full capacity of the scientific community is engaged and working together to provide important answers and solutions to actively detect, more effectively treat, and ultimately prevent AFM and its consequences.”


The Task Force will convene under the CDC’s Office of Infectious Diseases’ Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC), and will make key recommendations to the BSC to inform and strengthen the CDC’s response to this urgent public health concern. It will be coordinated by the Office of the Director and is scheduled to submit its first report at the BSC’s December 6, 2018, public meeting in Atlanta.


See the CDC Announcement


See the CDC’s Acute Flaccid Myelitis website


See also Medical Risk Law Report: Experimental Treatments: The Invention of Risk and Liability


See also Medical Risk Law Report: Pediatrician Liability Involving Diseases and Conditions of Childhood