Stay Informed

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) – FAQ and Resources

You may have heard about patients at Seattle Children’s being investigated by the Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for acute flaccid myelitis (AFM).

We want to assure you it is safe for your child to come here for care. Here are some information and resources.

  • Is AFM contagious?

    No. AFM itself is not contagious or spread from person to person. AFM is a syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that could be caused by many different things. It is possible that the germs associated with AFM are contagious. However, these germs usually only cause mild illnesses like a minor respiratory infection. We are following our standard precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

    back to top
  • Can my child get AFM if they come to Seattle Children’s for care?

    No. All of the patients being investigated for AFM have had symptoms before they came to Seattle Children’s. They did not acquire the symptoms of AFM at the hospital. We are following our standard precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

    back to top
  • Is there any link between the flu vaccine and the recent cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) at Seattle Children’s?

    No. There is no known link between any vaccine – including flu vaccine – and the recent cases of AFM. There is still no known cause of AFM, which is a very rare disease.

    Seattle Children’s continues to encourage flu vaccine for all children over 6 months old and their household contacts. We are already seeing flu circulating in the community, so now is the best time to vaccinate against flu. Investigators from DOH and the CDC are investigating the recent AFM cases. The fact that there has been a cluster of cases suggests an infection as the potential cause.

    back to top

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, please talk with your provider.

More Resources