Bennet Urges CDC Response to Polio-Like Disease in Children in Colorado and Across Country

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield to provide more information about preventive measures, enhance virus detection, and support research related to acute flaccid myelitis (AFM)—a rare polio-like condition resurging in children in Colorado and across the country.

Most common in children, AFM affects the nervous system, causing symptoms such as weakness of the limbs and severe headaches. In the letter, Bennet noted that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 15 of the 72 confirmed cases of AFM in the United States this year. Bennet urged the CDC to take further action to address this outbreak.

“As treatment and some causes of AFM are unknown, I urge the CDC to provide more information about preventative measures and precautions for those who may not be familiar with symptoms of AFM, in addition to supporting research in this space,” Bennet wrote. “For known causes, such as enterovirus infections, I urge CFC to support enhanced virus detection and surveillance activities.

“In Colorado, we are proud to be leading the charge nationwide on AFM and enterovirus research through our Children’s Hospital and the University of Colorado School of Medicine…As the CDC continues to investigate and monitor cases of AFM, I hope the agency continues to coordinate with the CDPHE to provide physicians and hospitals the support they need as they manage the increase in AFM cases,” Bennet concluded.

A copy of the letter is available HERE.