Is the rise of a polio-like disease part of Luke's end-times prophecy in chapter 21? The pestilence, called acute flaccid myelitis, paralyzes victims and triggers facial droop or weakness, droopy eyelids, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech.
"Every new case you see, the pit of your stomach drops out again," says Sara Carson, who's daughter was struck by the illness.
"You flash back to that moment in time where you're sitting in the hospital room thinking you don't know where the next day is going to take you, or the next hour or the next minute."
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has seen at least 50 cases this year, more than double the 21 reported last year.
"The CDC is concerned about the increase in cases, so we're actively investigating the cases and working really closely with health departments on it. We're intensifying our efforts to find out what causes it—we don't know what causes it," CDC pediatrician Manisha Patel says.
A variety of germs can trigger AFM, including West Nile and respiratory illnesses, among others.
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