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First 2018 Case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis Confirmed in Florida

December 22, 2018

Communications Office

Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health received report of its first confirmed case of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in 2018 as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). AFM is a rare but serious condition that has been reported yearly in the United States since 2014 and in Florida in 2014 and 2016. While rare, a large number of AFM cases reported nationally are without a known cause. There is no single identified cause for this condition.

The department is working with the CDC to investigate and classify patients suspected of having AFM. All healthcare providers, including hospital emergency departments, should stay on high alert and report any persons with suspected AFM cases to their county health department. Reporting of additional cases will aid the CDC in identifying a cause.

AFM is a rare condition with symptoms that can include sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes. Some people, in addition to arm or leg weakness, will have:

  • facial droop/weakness
  • difficulty moving the eyes
  • drooping eyelids
  • difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech


If someone has concerns for potential symptoms of AFM they should contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible. While there is no specific treatment for AFM, clinicians may recommend certain interventions on a case-by-case basis. For more information on AFM in the United States, please visit


About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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