Healthcare workers in the United States are keeping an eye out for polio, as one confirmed case of the disease has caused paralysis in New York state.
Experts in the medical field say that recent global outbreaks of polio that were prevented by vaccinations should encourage parents to vaccinate their children as soon as possible and remind adults to check their immunization records.
Additionally, experts advise that you check the requirements of your destination country before getting a polio booster shot before embarking on an international trip.
Recently, poliomyelitis, also known as polio, was discovered in the state of New York and in other countries including London and Jerusalem, prompting new warnings from health officials all over the world. It’s the first time in over 20 years that this potentially fatal disease is reportedly spreading covertly in the United States, according to reports from Reuters.
Since polio was discovered in Rockland County, health officials have been using wastewater surveillance to gauge the disease’s geographic reach. New Yorkers, however, should be aware that sewage water is not safe to drink. pic.twitter.com/sSeUAWPwNk On August 18, 2022, from New York State Department of Health (@HealthNYGov)
Although only one paralysis case has been reported in New York, the same strain of polio has caused outbreaks in other parts of the world, such as the 415 cases reported by Reuters in Nigeria in 2018. In addition to those two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only others where the spread of polio is not under control.
Although polio cannot be cured at the present time, anyone who has been vaccinated within the last few decades need not worry too much about contracting the disease.
The risk of contracting paralytic polio is eliminated for those who have received all of their recommended childhood vaccinations and for children who are up-to-date on their routine vaccinations, according to Shira Doron, M.D., an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center.
“In the United States, four doses of inactivated polio vaccine are part of the standard vaccination schedule for children. Paralytic poliovirus can be prevented with three doses, and the success rate is between 99 and 100 percent “the latter is true, she continues.
Instead, health officials are urging parents who have fallen behind on vaccinating their children to get up to speed as soon as possible; COVID- Data highlighted by the United Nations show that many families have fallen behind on immunizations due to healthcare disruptions caused by 19 different pandemics.
About what time did the polio vaccine become available?
According to Dr. Wright, polio vaccines were first used in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. This information was shared with Good Housekeeping. While there are two distinct polio vaccines on the market right now, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the one used in the United States. “They were very successful in eliminating polio from the United States,” he says. The protection against poliomyelitis is due to the fact that it “stimulates very good antibodies in the blood.”
The CDC reports that in the year 2000, IPVs replaced all other vaccines available in the United States healthcare system, effectively preventing the spread of polio within the country.
However, because the vast majority of communities outside of the United States lack access to IPVs, they continue to rely on oral polio vaccinations, which can cause wastewater contamination that healthcare professionals are currently tracing in major cities. This poses a risk to unvaccinated Americans. As reported by Scientific American, this is likely where the recent outbreak in New York state began.
When given a polio vaccine, for how long does protection remain in place?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends a three-dose series for infants and a fourth booster shot between four and six years of age against polio, but the specifics vary by state. Two doses of IPV reduce the risk of serious infections by 90%, and three doses provide an overwhelming 99% reduction; if you received a four-dose IPV series as a child, you are still well protected against polio.
New York’s sewage containing poliovirus and the first case of paralytic polio in the United States in nearly a decade serve as stark reminders of the necessity of vaccination. If you haven’t been fully immunized against polio, you could get infected and end up paralyzed. Learn more at: https://t.co/BFBwv1wkkb pic.twitter.com/pVUo5auCeA On August 16, 2022, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (@CDCgov)
“The best and only public action necessary at this time is to make sure that you and everyone in your family are up-to-date on childhood polio immunizations,” Dr. Doron says. New York is currently undergoing vaccination campaigns because the state’s polio vaccination rate is too low to prevent an outbreak.
And here’s why: While vaccinations protect individuals from serious infections and side effects (paralysis included! ), they do not prevent infection risk from vaccine-derived polio that may circulate among communities, which can then lead to outbreaks among those who have not received a polio vaccine.
“Despite being somewhat susceptible to spreading the infection to others, serum antibody levels in virtually all vaccinated U.S. citizens are easily detectable, and they are highly protected against contracting any of the neurologic disease. [However,] they will have near-complete safety “I’d like to add that Dr. Wright has some thoughts on this as well.
Do I require a booster dose of the polio vaccine?
There may be some talk about polio booster shots as more information becomes available, but generally speaking, vaccinations given in childhood are sufficient to provide prime protection against infection for decades. It is possible that you may need a booster shot for your polio vaccine, but it is highly unlikely that you will.
There are three scenarios in which Dr. Doron recommends discussing the possibility of receiving additional polio vaccines with your primary care physician.
Adults who will be traveling internationally or to an area with a high polio prevalence Lab workers over 18 who handle samples that could potentially contain poliovirus Adult medical personnel who may encounter polio patients
Healthcare authorities at the federal and state levels are currently investigating the possible spread of vaccine-derived polio in New York and other states. Dr. Wright says their findings could lead to new recommendations in the future.
“Your only reason to consider getting a booster at this point is if you’re uncertain about being vaccinated,” he says. “This could be because you’re part of a group or a household that has been hesitant to get vaccinated in the past.”
The top 5 Fall getaways in the Northeast
This story has been updated with new information. Fall brings a welcome respite from summer’s heat and humidity as well...
Giant Slide reopened in the US for the first time since going viral
Thousands of people showed up to the Giant Slide in Detroit on the first weekend it reopened since going viral.
This hiker falls to his death at the Grand Canyon
A hiker walking in Grand Canyon National Park fell approximately 200 feet to his death on Friday afternoon, according to...
Ford fixed a problem with the Mustang that caused many crashes
Ford Mustang prototype mystery of 'The Bulge' has finally been solved.
You can buy a 90s Porsche-inspired boat, if you really want to
Yes, this is a yacht made to kind of look like a 993-generation 911 cabriolet.