Polio: why experts say it will not spread in the US

Según los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC), alrededor del 93% de los niños en los EE.UU están vacunados contra la poliomielitis.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 93% of children in the US are vaccinated against polio.

Photo: Bernard Chantal/Shutterstock

The recent detection of poliovirus in sewage samples in London and New York state has caused nervousness among citizens, But experts say the United States is highly protected against widespread polio transmission, at least in areas that are highly vaccinated.

They state that the public is more aware of these virulent threats and can more closely monitor transmission after the COVID-19 pandemic generated by Sars-Cov2. Although the contaminated samples cannot identify individual cases, they do give a clue about regional health threats.

“If you are an unvaccinated person living in Rockland or Orange County, New York, where the sewage shows polio, I would be concerned and get vaccinated,” Aaron Glatt, chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau, he told Axios.

He stressed that those who are up to date on their vaccinations have little reason to worry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 93% of children in the US are vaccinated against polio before their second birthday and received almost complete protection.

In July 2022, CDC was notified of a case of polio in an unvaccinated person from Rockland County, New York and is consulting with the New York State Department of Health about its investigation, according to the most recent update from this case on the institution’s website.

Against polio it is essential to be vaccinated

Poliomyelitis is a disabling and life-threatening disease that spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis (cannot move body parts).

Although there is no cure, It can be prevented with safe and effective vaccination. In fact, the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine given in the United States since 2000. It is given by injection in the arm or leg, depending on a person’s age. The oral polio vaccine (OPV) is used in other countries.

“The good news about this is that if you’re vaccinated, you’re protected,” said Patricia Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and director of infection prevention at White Rock Medical Center in Dallas.

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