A so far isolated case of polio in New York has mobilized health authorities to speed up vaccination against this infection in the Rockland County community, where a 20-year-old man was diagnosed.
This person, who was not vaccinated, had recently traveled to Hungary and Poland, where the virus continues to circulate. Polio has been eradicated from much of the world thanks to immunization campaigns that began in the 1950s.
The live virus vaccine, which has not been used in the United States since 2000, is still used in the region of Europe where the affected person was. The vaccine is safe, but an unvaccinated individual can become infected if the live virus in the vaccine circulates through the community, health officials reported. This may have been the reason for this contagion.
The live attenuated polio vaccine has been discontinued in the region because it can mutate into a strain that causes polio in approximately 1 in 2.4 million people to whom it is administered. However, it was this vaccine, very easy to administer, through drops, developed by Dr. Albert Sabin, which managed to eradicate polio from the planet by almost 100%. This is what the doctor himself attests in this work published six years after the global vaccination campaign.
WE MUST NOT LOSE SIGHT OF SOMETHING ESSENTIAL OF THIS NEW HEALTH SITUATION: IN THE CASE OF NEW YORK, THE MAN WAS NOT VACCINATED AGAINST POLIO, WHICH MAKES HIM VULNERABLE TO INFECTION.
what is polio
Poliomyelitis is a viral disease that can affect the neurological system, causing muscle weakness and, in certain cases, leading to paralysis or death.
Pordinarily, the virus enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with fecal particles from an infected person. The virus lives in the throat and intestines.
Respiratory transmission and mouth-to-mouth transmission through saliva may also explain some cases.
Up to 95% of people infected with polio have no symptoms, but can still spread the virus. About 4 to 5% have minor symptoms such as fever, muscle weakness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Between 1 and 2% develop severe muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and back. Less than 1% of polio infections result in paralysis.
Due to the success of the vaccine, which was introduced in 1955, and a national vaccination program, polio cases fell dramatically in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with the last clusters of cases in the United States States registered in 1979.
Since the polio vaccine is still included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standard childhood immunization schedule, those who are vaccinated are not considered to be at significant risk.
Since 2000, only the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, has been administered in the United States. IPV is given by injection into the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age, and is very effective in ensuring protection. IPV is not a live virus vaccine like Sabin, so there is no risk of contracting polio from receiving it.
The vast majority of people in the United States are vaccinated against polio. However, the lies that have circulated about vaccines have had a negative effect on immunization rates in recent years.
This is what opens a window of opportunity for even those almost eradicated viruses to get in. And both COVID, and now monkeypox, have shown that you should never give up on vaccination.