Polio: the state of emergency triggered in the United States, what does it mean?

New York State has declared a state of emergency to fight poliomyelitis. The objective: to increase vaccination coverage against this disease that was thought to have disappeared…

We thought it disappeared, it is unfortunately making a comeback… so much so that the State of New York (in the United States) declared a “state of emergency” against poliomyelitis this Friday, September 9, 2022.

Indeed: while poliomyelitis is supposed to be almost eradicated since the 1960s (with barely a hundred cases in the world each year), a case of “polio” was recorded in July 2022 in the United States, 30 miles north of Manhattan. The patient, not vaccinated, today suffers from partial paralysis. Separately, the virus has been detected in sewage samples from four counties in the New York area, and from the city itself.

The objective of this “state of emergency” (which reminds us of the Covid-19)? Increase the polio vaccination rate, which is insufficient in New York State (approximately 79%). Thus, in this context of health crisis, more health professionals will be able to administer the polio vaccine: midwives, pharmacists, emergency services…

With polio, we simply cannot leave it to chancesaid Dr. Mary Bassett, New York State Health Commissioner, to our American colleagues from CNBC. I urge New Yorkers not to take any chances: Polio vaccination is safe and effective, protecting against disease almost everyone who receives the recommended doses.

Poliomyelitis: what is it exactly?

Poliomyelitis (more commonly called “polio”) is a viral disease: very contagious, the poliovirus is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, that is to say through food or water. soiled with contaminated feces.

Responsible for flu-like symptoms (fever, fatigue, headaches, etc.), poliomyelitis causes irreversible paralysis (of the legs, generally) in around 1 in 200 patients. In addition, in many patients, residual paralysis can develop. and cause disability.

Fortunately, since the 1960s, vaccines against poliomyelitis have been available. “Before the vaccine era, poliomyelitis was one of the most terrible scourges of childhood” notice thePastor Institute. Thus, 600,000 children developed the disease each year worldwide.

In France, vaccination against polio is compulsory for children born from 2018: 3 doses are injected at the age of 2 months, 4 months and 11 months. Several reminders are then carried out at 6 years old, between 11 and 13 years old, then in adults.

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Source: Topsante.com by www.topsante.com.

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