Polio is a global concern; New York declares a state of emergency

Polio is a global concern; New York declares a state of emergency. Earlier this year, the international medical community was excited that polio was on its way to global eradication, with only two countries reporting a small number of cases. It was about Pakistan and Afghanistan.

However, in February, the African country of Malawi announced its first case of polio in 30 years, then 14 cases were reported in Pakistan; in March Israel reported its first case since 1988. The alarms went off when the British authorities they declared an “incident of national concern” after discovering that the virus was in the sewage.

The same case was identified in New York in USA. Authorities discovered the virus in sewage water and the first case in a man was confirmed, despite the fact that no case had been reported for a decade.

This situation sets off alarms. New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in response to polioviruswhich has been found in the wastewater of various New York counties.

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Although only one case was confirmed in a 20-year-old man who had not been vaccinated, he was diagnosed with paralytic poliomyelitisa disease that, as its name suggests, left him paralyzed, a sign of hundreds of additional infections, since only about 1 in 100 polio infections lead to serious illness, New York health officials say.

The purpose of declaring a state of emergency is to invite the population to vaccinate your children. Polio vaccination rates are low in most of the affected counties: In Orange, about 58 percent of children have received three vaccinations before their second birthday.

Polio is a global concern; New York declares a state of emergency / UNSPLASH

HOW POLIO IS SPREAD

Polio can spread through feces or contaminated food or waterFor example, when an infected child goes to the toilet, neglects to wash their hands, and then touches food. Although the number is small, some patients can develop serious problems as polio invades the nervous system.

This causes paralysis, usually of the legs. However, in some cases this is not permanent and the movement often returns. However, it can be life-threatening, especially if the paralysis affects the muscles used for breathing.

Polio is a global concern; New York declares a state of emergency / UNSPLASH

in MexicoThanks to vaccination campaigns, polio was eradicated in 30 years. But given the presence of new cases in other countries, experts point out that vaccination or revaccination is paramountbecause there is a risk that tourists from other countries will be carriers of the virus and if the population is not protected, it will be a source of infection.

However, more than 50 organizations have warned that since 2018 the country has registered the lowest vaccination coverage of children in the last 20 yearsFor example, the pentavalent vaccine has only 70.1 percent coverage in children under 1 and 2 years of age.

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During 15 years of practicing journalism, I learned to listen and engage with people, and it also allowed me to get to know places and tell stories that are often forgotten. I’ve always said that this career allows you to get to know a little or a lot of everything: in the morning you can cover a press conference with politicians, in the afternoon a march, and in the evening you can go to a cocktail party or a red carpet with stars.

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