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Pediatric Acute Flaccid Myelitis

What You Need to Know

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a rare – but serious – condition that affects the nervous system.

Key Symptoms

The most common symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis are sudden onset of arm or leg weakness, loss of muscle tone and loss of reflexes.


Doctors typically diagnose acute flaccid myelitis by reviewing a patient’s medical history, examining their nervous system and performing an MRI to view pictures of the spinal cord.


Physical and occupational therapy helps with arm or leg weakness, and antivirals or immunoglobulin can help the body fight off the virus and reduce neuroinflammation.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is acute flaccid myelitis?

What causes acute flaccid myelitis?

What are symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis?

How is acute flaccid myelitis diagnosed?

What are the treatments for acute flaccid myelitis?

How do you prevent acute flaccid myelitis infection?

Providers Who Treat Acute Flaccid Myelitis

Departments that Treat Acute Flaccid Myelitis

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Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology

The Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology has a team of expert physicians, board-certified pediatric radiologists, technologists, pediatric anesthesiologists and nurses, specially trained to provide pediatric radiology services for infants, children and adolescents.

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Infectious Diseases

Our Division of Infectious Diseases is the major referral center for infectious diseases in the Washington, D.C., area, helping thousands of patients each year, and actively promoting prevention through community outreach and education.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

The Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation treats and monitors infants, children and teens at all stages of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care.

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