Thursday, New York State Department of Public Health was recorded The first case of polio in the United States in more than 9 years. The only person known to have contracted the virus is that she is an adult, lives in Rockland County, an area north of New York City, and has not been vaccinated. Health authorities are working to identify any further cases and prevent the spread of the epidemic. From the first information we have, it looks like this person has contracted it Vaccine-Derived Polio And not the virus that evolves from the virus in its wild version.
This can happen if you become infected (usually through contaminated stool, water, or food) by someone who has made a type of vaccine containing Live virus in attenuated form. This vaccine is taken orally and is common in some developing countries, while in the United States – as well as in Italy – it is now given only by injection and contains inactivated viruses, so it does not cause infection. For this, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the identified person in Rockland County had contracted the virus overseas.
– Read also: Good explanation of vaccine-derived polio cases
The massive vaccination campaign conducted in the last thirty years made it possible to completely eradicate polio, the disease that for thousands of years has made the existence of mankind accompanied by great epidemics that mainly affected children and led to permanent forms of paralysis.
Vaccine-induced polio is a rare condition, due to a lack of adequate vaccines within the community. Even within a small group of people, if many of them are not vaccinated, so-called “herd immunity” may be compromised, the principle that if vaccination crosses a certain threshold, the entire community is protected from disease.
In the Rockland County area where the polio case was recorded, lives a minority of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community who reject vaccinations partly on religious grounds, partly related to traditional anti-vaccine arguments. This community was actually talked about between 2018 and 2019, when it was in the same area measles epidemic.
The last case of polio in the United States was in 2013 and the virus was caught while traveling abroad. The polio vaccine is still highly recommended by US health authorities, and according to the most recent data, 93 percent of two-year-olds have had at least three doses of the vaccine. In 2016, the percentage of children immunized in Rockland County was 50 percent, one of the lowest in the state.
The orally attenuated vaccine virus is generally harmless and allows people who contract it to vaccinate themselves. This process has played an important role in reducing polio cases in poor countries in recent decades, but it still has some negative effects. The longer the attenuated virus continues to circulate, in fact, the greater the risk it will mutate until it takes a form similar to the true wild virus, which causes severe forms of paralysis.
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