Ongoing Surveillance for Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Paralysis Investigation Information for Health Professionals - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Ongoing Surveillance for Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM):
Information for Health Professionals

Clinical guidance

Acute flaccid paralysis surveillance

The Minnesota Department of Health is conducting surveillance for acute flaccid myelitis/paralysis. 

  • Criteria:
    • Acute onset of focal limb weakness; AND
    • MRI showing a spinal cord lesion largely restricted to gray matter OR
    • CSF with pleocytosis

  • Please contact MDH at 651-201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414 to report patients that meet this criteria.

Specimen collection and testing

Collect stool, respiratory, cerebral spinal fluid, and serum specimens from these patients and submit to MDH Public Health Laboratory (PHL) for testing.

Collect (all if possible):

  • Nasal Swab/Wash:
    Transport at refrigerator temperature
  • Serum:
    1 ml, in a clot tube
    Transport at refrigerator temperature
  • Stool Sample:
    ParaPak C&S, Modified Carey-Blair, or equivalent
    Transport at refrigerator temperature
  • Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF):
    No special transport
    Transport at refrigerator temperature

  • MDH will test the specimens for enterovirus and other possible causes.

Fill out a submission form for EACH specimen:

Use Project #1880 in the upper right hand corner of the form.

Label all tubes/containers with the following information:

  • Patient name
  • Patient date of birth
  • Date specimen collected
  • Specimen type

Send specimens to the MDH PHL:

Send specimens to arrive Monday-Friday before 4:30 p.m. to:
MDH Public Health Laboratory
Attn: Biological Accessioning
601 Robert St. N. 
St. Paul, MN 55155-2531

Background and more information

Updated Wednesday, 01-Apr-2020 14:01:42 CDT