October 3, 2022

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US polio warning, New York state suspects: ‘Thousands of cases overwhelmed’

Milan on August 9. (Greetings, Adnkronos) — The resurgence of polio is disturbing New York State. According to local health authorities, “there could be hundreds or even thousands of undiagnosed cases of ‘overwhelming’ infection,” Rockland County Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Robert, where it was reported last month, explained to the BBC’s issue. . An unvaccinated man reported polio. His infection appears to be genetically related to traces of the polio virus found in wastewater in London and Jerusalem. Episodes that followed Countries were asked to increase vaccination rates.

Robert does not hide his concern. The expert notes that apart from the fact that he “never thought he could see a case of polio in the United States” in his life, “if you look at a case of polio, it means that there is not a single infection.” He pointed out that “the incidence of paralytic polio is less than 1%,” while “the majority of cases are without symptoms or mild symptoms, and these symptoms are often ignored.” So the idea is that there have been “hundreds, possibly thousands, of polio cases to watch for paralysis” associated with the infection.

The commissioner adds that scientists are working to find a “link” between the New York case and the effects of the polio virus found in the London and Jerusalem streams, after sequencing the viral genomes on samples from the three sites. A link appeared.

“It’s not just about New York,” warns Robert. “This is a very serious problem for our globalized world and we must all make sure our populations are properly vaccinated.” The paralyzed American man actually had a so-called ‘vaccine-derived’ form of polio, which occurs because some countries (neither the United States nor more developed countries) use a type of vaccine that contains an attenuated virus. In rare cases, this can change and pass, in the context of poor hygiene and also in other parts of the world, to unvaccinated people. Like the American patient who was not actually vaccinated.

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Although weaker than “wild” polio, vaccine-derived polio can still cause severe symptoms. The virus can attack the nerves in the spine and the base of the brain, which can lead to paralysis. Usually in the legs, but if the respiratory muscles are affected, the infection can also be life-threatening.

The BBC states that some areas of Rockland County have historically low vaccination rates, as low as 60%. Field teams have been sent to these areas to encourage immunization against polio, especially children.