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Explainer: What to know about the spread of polio in New York

EXPLAINER: What to know about polio spreading in New York
This 1964 microscope image from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the Damage virus infects human spinal cord tissue. On Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, health officials in the largest U.S. city said they found the virus in wastewater samples, suggesting the virus is spreading among unvaccinated people. Credit: Dr. Karp/Emory University/CDC via AP, File

The polio virus has been found in New York City sewage, but officials stress that the highest risk is to the unvaccinated.

Polio was once one of the most terrifying diseases in the United States, with outbreaks leading to thousands of paralysis cases each year. It was officially declared eliminated in the United States in 1979 and is considered one of the nation’s greatest public health victories. Since then, however, cases have cropped up occasionally, usually in people who have traveled to other countries.

Recently, an unvaccinated young man in upstate New York City contracted polio. On Friday, health officials in the largest U.S. city said they had found the virus in wastewater samples, suggesting it was spreading among the unvaccinated population.

Here are some details about polio and vaccines:

How is polio spread?

Polio is considered highly contagious and spreads from person to person mainly through contaminated water and fecal particles spread between.

Health officials say the virus can also be spread through droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, although the situation Less common.

What are the symptoms?

Most infected people have no obvious symptoms. About one in four will endure flu-like symptoms for several days, Examples include fever, sore throat, headache, and nausea.

However, a small percentage of people may develop a more serious disease. The virus can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis and possible permanent disability and death.

Most Americans have not been vaccinated against polio?


American children are still routinely vaccinated against polio, and these vaccines are considered very effective. Federal officials recommend four doses: at 2 months of age; 4 months; 6 to 18 months; and at 4 to 6 years of age. Some states require only three doses.

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 93% of 2-year-olds received at least three doses of spinal cord Polio vaccine.

What do I need to do if I have the polio vaccine?

For most people, no.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dozens of adults who were fully vaccinated as children have been present in the blood years of protective antibodies. In a nationwide study of adults aged 40-49 about a decade ago, about 90 percent had protective antibodies to the virus.

That said, health officials have previously recommended the use of boosters in certain situations, such as travel or work Adults at increased risk of exposure to poliovirus.

What should I do if I am not vaccinated?

Health officials suggest unvaccinated people get shots. In New York, clinics have been established to provide vaccines.

Unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated people have the greatest risk of polio-induced paralysis. People diagnosed with paralytic polio in Rockland County were not vaccinated.

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Citation : Explainer: What to Know About Polio Transmission in New York (2022, Aug 12) Retrieved Aug 18, 2022 from /news/2022-08-polio-york-1.html

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