The US health authorities warn the population about the presence of this strain and invite vaccination.
The disease that was supposed to be eradicated in some countries has reappeared. Certain viral strains have been identified in certain countries such as the United Kingdom, Pakistan, in Africa…
And the United States is concerned about the potential spread after a case of paralytic polio was confirmed in New York’s Rockland County in late June, reports the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, Cidrap.
The infected person is young man who went to the hospital after paralysis of one of your legs. The diagnosis was made quickly.
The unvaccinated patient was exposed to a strain of the virus, but since he had not traveled, he was polluted in the united states.
A contagious and dangerous disease
As stipulated by the Pasteur Institute, polio is a “disease very contagious caused by a virus (poliovirus) that invades the nervous system and who can cause irreversible paralysis within a few hours“.
The first the symptoms are similar to those of the flu : fever, tiredness, headache before vomiting and stiff neck and paralysis of several limbs.
This virus is transmitted mainly by fecal-oral route especially through dirty water.
The alert of the New York authorities
On Thursday, August 4, the New York State Department of Health alerted the public to the presence of poliovirus in wastewater samples at several different locations and encourages unvaccinated children and adults to do so quickly.
Health authorities specify that the spread of the disease must be taken seriously.
“Sequence analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that seven positive samples from both Rockland County (three) and Orange County (four) are genetically linked to the individual case of paralytic polio. previously identified in a Rockland County resident. These findings provide further evidence for local, not international, transmission of a polio virus that can cause paralysis and possible community spread.”
Possible mutations in the isolated strain
The strain that was identified and that contaminated the young man is close to the one used in the oral polio vaccine, the OPV that contains active strains of the virus that do not cause illness.
But if these strains mutatethey can is toxic again. So if a person comes into contact with such a mutated strain and is not vaccinated, he can get the disease.
This oral vaccine, which is administered in certain countries due to its lower cost, is not the one used in the United States, nor in Europe, which have opted for an inactive version of the virus.
The urgency of getting vaccinated to avoid infections
The New York State Health Commissioner has specified that it is necessary expect hundreds of infections.
“Based on previous polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for each case of paralytic poliomyelitis observed, the there may be hundreds more infected“.
Not very reassuring information, but it shows the you have to get vaccinated, to maintain immunity at a high level. Therefore, people who are not vaccinated are at risk of contamination.
The spread of the virus is being closely monitored by health authorities. An investigation is underway to trace the source of the contamination.
Remember that since 2015 a hundred cases have been identified worldwide and that before vaccination the disease affected more than 600,000 children a year.
In addition, the vaccination program launched by the WHO serves to eradicate the disease.
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