Shreveport, Louisiana — The poliovirus, which was eradicated in the United States in 1955 by the development of a vaccine, has been discovered in New York.
Before the introduction of a vaccine, the disease paralyzed approximately 600,000 children worldwide each year. In the United States, 35,000 people were paralyzed annually.
Polio was one of the country’s most feared diseases. But the vaccine got rid of the virus. until now.
An unimmunized man was recently hospitalized with fever, pain, stiffness and weakness in his extremities. An examination revealed that he had polio. Later, public health experts found polio in the wastewater. They found it has been around since May.
So how did this happen?
This is where things get a little complicated. The poliovirus found in New York is not the original strain. This is a mutant strain that was shed by a person who received the oral polio vaccine.
There are two types of polio vaccine, an injectable and an oral vaccine. Oral vaccines contain a live, attenuated virus that boosts the immune system of the recipient. People who get this version of the vaccine are not at risk of contracting polio. But while the vaccine is in their bodies, they shed the infectious poliovirus.Again, vaccines pose no threat to those who receive them. But everyone around them who is not vaccinated is at risk.
Still, most people who get polio are asymptomatic.
“We also know that even if there are 1,000 people with polio, only one or two of them will actually develop polio disease. Professor Dr. John Vanchiere said: “And in the United States, the vast majority of us have the polio vaccine, so we have very good protection and The risk is very low.”
But the area of New York where the first cases were confirmed has low polio vaccination coverage, meaning high risk.
“In certain areas of Rockland County, polio vaccination coverage is as low as 37 to 38 percent,” says Vanchiere. “And what that means is that there are a lot of very susceptible children in that area. It becomes very easy.”
Health officials are now detecting polio in wastewater in neighboring New York counties and warning the public that it could spread to the community. recommended to