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Polio Outbreak in America: State of Emergency Enforced

Polio Outbreak in America: State of Emergency Enforced

A state of emergency was introduced in New York on Friday because of the spread of the virus that causes polio: and samples showed its presence in sewage. Officials are urging residents to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Polio It is a very dangerous, severe infectious disease that can cause irreversible complications such as paralysis or damage to the respiratory system. The disease was eradicated decades ago, but for months the virus has been detected in sewage in various locations around the world. The British Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) reported the presence of the virus in samples in June. Now the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found polio sequences in a sewage sample taken from Nassau County. The sample was genetically linked to polio in a patient in northern New York’s Rockland County earlier this summer. Only about 60 percent of children under two years of age living in the district have been vaccinated. By September 9, the virus had already been detected in 57 sewage samples from four different counties and New York City.

Polio virus has been absent in the United States for many years

In 1979, polio was eradicated from the United States thanks to vaccinations that began in 1955. Unfortunately, the presence of the virus in wastewater poses a risk due to low vaccination coverage in some parts of New York State (currently the statewide average is only 79%). Friday’s emergency announcement aims to boost declining vaccination rates above 90 percent. There is no cure for polio, the only way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated.

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– In the case of polio, we cannot take risks. For every stroke, there can be hundreds of other victims, Health Commissioner Dr Mary Bassett said in a statement.

According to an order issued by Cathy Hochul (New York Governor), in emergencies, polio vaccines can be administered not only by doctors, but also by paramedics, pharmacists and midwives.

The state of emergency remains in effect till October 9.

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Source: bbc.com

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