Health Highlights: Oct. 12, 2018
More Young American Children Not Getting Recommended Vaccines: CDC Nine Recent Cases of Polio-Like Illness Among Children in Illinois Being Investigated
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
More Young American Children Not Getting Recommended Vaccines: CDC
The percentage of U.S. children under 2 years old who haven't received any recommended vaccinations quadrupled in the past 17 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
Among children born in 2015, 1.3 percent had not received any of the recommended vaccinations, according to an analysis of 2017 data, the Washington Post reported.
That compares with 0.9 percent in 2011 and 0.3 percent of 19- to -35-month-olds in 2001.
If the same proportion of children born in 2016 haven't received any vaccinations, about 100,000 children who are now less than 2 years old aren't protected against 14 potentially serious vaccine-preventable diseases, Amanda Cohn, a pediatrician and CDC's senior adviser for vaccines, told the Post.
Even though that number is only a small portion of the estimated 8 million children born in the last two years who are being vaccinated, the trend is worrying, public health officials say.
"This is something we're definitely concerned about," Cohn told the Post. "We know there are parents who choose not to vaccinate their kids . . . there may be parents who want to and aren't able to" get their children immunized.
Nine Recent Cases of Polio-Like Illness Among Children in Illinois Being Investigated
Nine recent cases of a rare, polio-like disorder in children are being investigated in Illinois, health officials said Wednesday.
All of the patients with the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), are younger than 18 and from northern Illinois, according to the Department of Public Health, CNN reported.
Since 2015, Illinois has had four confirmed cases of AFM, which affects a person's nervous system. Symptoms include sudden limb weakness, loss of muscle tone and reflexes, facial and eyelid drooping, facial weakness, difficulty moving the eyes, swallowing difficulty or slurred speech, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The condition can be caused by a virus, a genetic disorder and environmental toxins. There is no treatment other than managing symptoms, CNN reported.
Five possible cases of AFM in children under age 6 in Washington state are being investigated by health officials. There has been one confirmed case of AFM in the state this year, and there were three confirmed cases last year.
On Tuesday, Colorado health officials said there have been 14 confirmed cases of AFM in that state this year. All of the patients are children who required hospitalization, but health officials said "nearly all have fully recovered," CNN reported.