State of emergency due to polio!

State of emergency due to polio! It spreads rapidly and the authorities are forced to declare a state of emergency. The virus can cause paralysis.

The governor of the state of New York has declared a state of emergency due to poliomyelitis, given that there is evidence that the virus is spreading throughout the state, writes Antena 3 quoting the BBC

Wastewater samples from New York City and four adjacent counties have tested positive for a polio virus that can cause paralysis, US health officials say.

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Even though only one case has been confirmed so far, it was the first in the country in almost a decade.

This disease was largely eradicated from the US through vaccinations that began in 1955. In 1979, the US was declared polio-free.

Disease without cure

Still, according to New York officials, vaccination rates are too low in some parts of the state. Friday’s emergency declaration is aimed at boosting immunization rates that are declining.

Poliomyelitis has no cure, but it can be prevented by vaccine. Affecting children in particular, the virus generally causes muscle weakness and paralysis, and in the worst cases, permanent disability and death.

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The New York State Department of Health said it aims to increase vaccination rates from the current average of about 79 percent to more than 90 percent statewide.

Only the vaccine can prevent

Both the US and the UK use an inactivated polio vaccine. In the US, about 93 percent of young children have received at least three doses of the polio vaccine, according to CDC vaccination data.

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Officials began monitoring the state’s wastewater for the polio virus after an unvaccinated man in upstate New York’s Rockland County contracted the virus in July — the first case since 2013 — and became paralyzed.

The case was later genetically linked to paralytic polio found in a sewage sample collected from nearby Nassau County in August

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Wastewater samples from Orange County, Sullivan County and the five boroughs of New York City also tested positive for paralytic polio.

The emergency order issued by Gov. Kathy Hochul is the third issued by the state this year, in addition to similar orders issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic and monkeypox, notes Antenna 3.

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