New York County with polio has a pitiful 60% vaccination rate; 1000s . may be injured

Zoom / Electron micrograph of transmission of type 1 poliovirus.


A vaccine-derived polio virus that left an unvaccinated US resident has been linked to the country’s first paralytic polio case in nearly a decade to spread to two other countries: the United Kingdom and Israel. Now that it has been detected in the United States, health officials fear it has spread to hundreds or even thousands of people in New York County who are not well vaccinated.

On Monday, New York officials urgently encouraged unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” to prevent the virus from spreading.

“Polio is highly contagious, and an individual can transmit the virus even if they are not sick,” the New York State Department of Health said in a press release today. The virus spreads easily via fecal-oral route through poor hygiene and sanitation. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated food or water. The Ministry of Health added that “symptoms, which can be mild and flu-like, can take up to 30 days to appear, during which time an infected individual can transmit the virus to others.”

About one in 200 people infected with the polio virus develop paralysis, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means that for the crippling polio case that emerged in New York – which was not linked to any international travel – hundreds of others likely have already been infected.

pockets of danger

Most Americans have been vaccinated against the polio virus, which makes them safe from the dangerous virus. The three-dose inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which is given in the first 24 months with a fourth booster dose between ages 4 and 6, is part of the CDC’s standard immunization schedule. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data from 2015, nearly 93 percent of American children received their three doses of IPV by age 2.

But, a case of crippling polio in New York was found in Rockland County, a northern suburb of New York City, which has pockets of low vaccination rates. In fact, in 2019, the county experienced a measles outbreak due to the same problem.

According to the state health department, Rockland County currently has a polio vaccination rate of only 60.5 percent among 2-year-olds, compared to the statewide rate of 79 percent.

Rockland’s case of paralysis, which occurred in a young unvaccinated adult, was first reported by authorities on July 21, but the person’s symptoms began in June. Since then, transmission will likely continue, with Epidemiologists now say thousands could be infected.

Multinational spread

And this is only in the United States. On Friday, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) announced that the vaccine-derived poliovirus strain behind Rockland’s case – type 2 VDPV – is genetically related to viruses detected in wastewater samples in London and Jerusalem, indicating a sustained multinational spread of the virus. dangerous.

To be clear, vaccine-derived strains of poliovirus evolve from oral polio vaccines (OPV), which are no longer used in the US or UK. (Isreal uses both IPV and OPV.) Oral polio vaccines use weakened viruses that, if able to spread from person to person amid poor sanitation and low vaccination rates, can mutate to restore disease-causing capabilities. It is unclear where and how VDPV2 originated and spread.

“It is imperative that all countries, particularly those with significant travel and contact with polio-affected countries and regions, strengthen surveillance in order to quickly detect any import of a new virus and facilitate a rapid response,” the global initiative said. “Countries, territories and regions should also maintain uniformly high routine immunization coverage at district and lower administrative levels to protect children from polio and minimize the consequences of any new virus introduced.”

New York officials are heeding the call, opening vaccination clinics and urging residents to stand in line to get injections, especially children.

“Polio is a serious disease with dire consequences,” New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement. “In the United States, we are very fortunate to have the critical protection provided through polio vaccination, which has protected our country and New Yorkers for more than 60 years. Given the speed with which polio can spread, now is the time for every adult, parent, and guardian The order is to vaccinate themselves and their children as quickly as possible.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: