Outbreaks and New Emerging Diseases

There are always new diseases being reported all over the world, below are the diseases that are developing at this time:

Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2, Spice)

Since March of this year Wisconsin has seen an increase in people with bleeding problems after using synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids, otherwise known as K2, Spice, or fake weed can be bought U.S. in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, and online. These products are mixed with different chemicals and sprayed on dried plant material or sold as liquids to be inhaled in products like e-cigarettes or other vaping devices. For the most up to date information on number of people affected by abnormal bleeding from cannabinoids and what areas of Wisconsin have been affected, it can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website at: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/chemical/synthetic-cannabinoids.htm

If you have purchased any of these products in the past month, do not use it. If you have used any of these products, and start experiencing severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, please have someone take you to the hospital immediately or call 911. Do not walk or drive yourself. Tell your health care providers about the possible link between your symptoms and synthetic cannabinoid use.

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare but serious condition. It affects the nervous system, the brain and spinal cord and causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. CDC has been thoroughly investigating the AFM cases that have occurred since 2014, when they first noted a large number of cases being reported.

What CDC has learned since 2014

  • Most of the patients with AFM (more than 90%) had a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before they developed AFM.
  • Viral infections such as from enteroviruses are common, especially in children, and most people recover. CDC doesn’t know why a small number of people develop AFM, while most others recover. They are continuing to investigate this.
  • These AFM cases are not caused by poliovirus; all the stool specimens from AFM patients that they received tested negative for poliovirus.
  • CDC detected coxsackievirus A16, EV-A71, and EV-D68 in the spinal fluid of four of 508 confirmed cases of AFM since 2014, which points to the cause of their AFM. For all other patients, no pathogen (germ) has been detected in their spinal fluid to confirm a cause.
  • Most patients had onset of AFM between August and October, with increases in AFM cases every two years since 2014. At this same time of year, many viruses commonly circulate, including enteroviruses, and will be temporally associated with AFM.
  • Most AFM cases are children (over 90%) and have occurred in 46 states and DC.

For more information on the AFM, go to https://www.cdc.gov/acute-flaccid-myelitis/about-afm.html

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