Not just covid and monkeypox. Now, like the ancient threat that is returning, polio is also rearing its head, with cases reported in the United States, England and Israel. So much so that the World Health Organization is launching a global call for vaccination. The recent cases of polio around the world are a wake-up call for everyone. The Director of the World Health Organization in Europe, Hans Kluge, explains. -. It is our shared responsibility to eradicate polio globally. Anyone who has not been vaccinated, or whose children have missed the prescribed vaccinations, must be vaccinated as soon as possible.” And reassuring undecided, he adds: “The polio vaccines have proven to be very effective and safe.”
But how can some sporadic cases of polio, which have been eradicated for decades, raise an international alarm? To connect the detected cases. “In our interconnected world, the polio virus recently discovered in New York, he said, is genetically related to viruses discovered in Israel and the UK,” Kluge explains. In practice, scientists found a link between the polio case of an American man and the effects of polio found in London and Jerusalem wastewater after genome sequencing was done on samples from the three sites. In fact, it is not normal to find the exact same vaccine virus, with the same identical small mutations acquired in a vaccinated person, multiple times over time: this means that this virus is capable of infection.
The case of the United States is a symbolic one. Currently, the polio virus, which has not been seen for a decade, is spreading locally among unvaccinated people: after all, only 86 percent of New York City children, ages 6 months to 5 years, have received three doses of a serum. And worryingly, there could be “hundreds or even thousands of undiagnosed polio cases,” says Rockland County Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel-Robert. In London, the polio virus has been found in the sewage system, so much so that the English capital has already launched a recall program for children aged 1-9. Finally, in Israel, a girl got sick while six other asymptomatic cases were reported: all unvaccinated people.
There were no reports in Italy. But in 1958, before the vaccination was adopted, there were several outbreaks of polio, in which 8 thousand cases of paralysis occurred. Since 1966 vaccination has been mandatory. The last case was recorded in 1983, while in 1984 and 1988 there were two cases of children from abroad who had not been immunized.
But even in Italy there is a decline in interest. Polio vaccination is declining. Regions above 95% moved from 14 in 2019 to 9 in 2020. While values below 90% were recorded in Bolzano (80.83%) and Sicily (89.19). And virologist Roberto Burioni warns mothers in particular. He wrote in London on Twitter that there is a polio virus again which he has not seen in 40 years. If you have a bad idea not to vaccinate your children against polio (or have not been vaccinated), proceed immediately.
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