For the first time in nearly a decade, the first polio patient in the United States has contracted the same virus strain discovered in Jerusalem and London earlier this year, researchers say.
Tests revealed that a Jewish man in his 20s from Rockland County, New York, who had been paralyzed by the disease, had been infected with the type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV).
Polio expert Dr. Adam Ratner has suggested to DailyMail.com that there may be “multiple” transmission chains for the virus spreading around the world.
Today, the New York City Department of Health confirmed that the virus was detected in wastewater samples taken in Rockland County in early June.
Health officials said this was a warning sign for those who haven’t been vaccinated against polio, once America’s most feared disease.Polio in children is more dangerous.
Tests revealed that the patient was infected with the same strain detected in London and Jerusalem earlier this year (file photo).
Testing at a laboratory run by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) revealed that a patient in New York had been infected with the same strain identified earlier this year.
Some countries, but not the United States, still use oral poliovirus vaccines. It uses a live form of the virus, which in rare cases can infect others when the recipient excretes the virus. It may look like
GPEI officials said further analysis is underway to determine where in the world the virus may have spread.
“All countries, especially those with high travel and contact with polio-affected countries and areas, should strengthen surveillance to rapidly detect importation of the new virus and facilitate a rapid response. It is important.”
The US polio case identified last month was a young Jewish man who had not received the three doses of polio vaccine, the report suggests.
He has been discharged from the hospital and lives in the same house as his wife and parents. However, due to paralysis from the infection, he has trouble walking again.
It was not clear how he contracted the virus, but the man had not recently traveled abroad, suggesting that he likely contracted it from another unvaccinated individual. I’m here.
Ratner, who is also the director of pediatric infectious diseases at NYU Langone’s Hassenfel Children’s Hospital, cautioned based on detections abroad: [infection] happened. However, it is also possible that there are multiple independent vaccine-derived polio around.
“But this is unlikely because the United States does not use the oral polio vaccine.”
So far, neither London nor Jerusalem have confirmed hospitalizations of polio patients. The US has yet to detect her second case.
However, all three said they had detected Type 2 VDPV in their wastewater within the past few months, suggesting community spread.
In Rockland County, the virus was detected in early June before the first cases were reported.
But Ratner said this was “not surprising” because it can take weeks for people infected with the virus to start suffering from symptoms.
He added: “I think this suggests that more people may have been exposed to polio.
“There may be some people who weren’t vaccinated but were exposed to it and didn’t develop paralytic polio.”
Polio is a viral infection that, in severe cases, can spread to the spinal cord and cause paralysis. About 1 in 10 people who suffer from it will die from the disease.
Most people who get polio don’t show symptoms of the virus, but one in four will develop flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, fever and stomach pain.
1 in 25 people will become infected with the spinal cord, causing paralysis.
Vaccination is the most effective way to avoid the disease as there is no effective treatment for infected people.
Three vaccination courses are routinely offered to children in the United States, with the first injection at 2 months of age and the final injection by 18 months of age.
A booster shot that is more than 99% effective in preventing infection between the ages of 4 and 6 will also be administered.
In recent years, and amid the Covid chaos, the United States has fallen behind in vaccination against the disease.
About 92.6% of Americans were fully vaccinated against the virus by their second birthday, according to CDC data, which is below the WHO-recommended level of 95% to prevent outbreaks.
Thanks to immunization, polio has been eradicated in almost every country in the world. But it’s still spreading under the radar of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Polio: once America’s most feared disease, now rare
Polio is a serious viral disease that was once endemic around the world.
The virus can survive in the throat and intestines for up to 6 weeks, and patients are most infectious 7 to 10 days before and after the onset of symptoms.
However, it can spread to the spinal cord and cause muscle weakness and paralysis.
The virus is most common in young children and occurs in environments with poor hygiene.
How deadly is it?
Most people don’t show any signs of infection, but about 1 in 20 people have minor symptoms such as fever, weakness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
About 1 in 50 patients develop severe muscle pain and stiffness in the neck and back.
Less than 1% of polio cases lead to paralysis, and 1 in 10 of them die.
Among those who develop symptoms, these tend to appear between 3 and 21 days after infection and include:
- high temperature
- sore throat
- stomach ache
- muscle pain
- nausea and vomiting
how does it spread?
Polio can be transmitted through airborne droplets when someone coughs or sneezes or comes in contact with the faeces of an infected person.
This includes food, water, clothing and toys.
Do you have different strains?
There are three strains of ‘wild’ polio, which have been largely eradicated in Europe, the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.
Types 2 and 3 were eliminated thanks to global mass vaccination campaigns, with the last cases detected in 1999 and 2012, respectively.
The remaining type 1 wild polio is endemic in only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Wild polio has been eradicated in almost every country in the world thanks to vaccines.
However, the global rollout has spawned a new type of strain known as vaccine-derived poliovirus.
These are strains that were first used in live vaccines, but were leaked into the community and evolved to behave like wild versions.
Is polio still in America?
The last known human-to-human transmission in the United States was in 1979, which was also the last case of wild polio.
Since then, however, there have been dozens of cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus, and they were one-offs with no subsequent transmission.
Are you vaccinated against polio?
Americans have been provided with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) since 2000.
First 4 doses of jab at 2 months of age. It is also given at 4 months, 6 months to 18 months, and 4 months to 6 months.
Utilization has fallen slightly, but is now above 90% nationally.
There are concerns that vaccine hesitation has increased during the Covid crisis as misinformation spread about the virus’ jabs and school closures.