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New York’s Polio Case Might Not be the Only One, More Suspected says Top Health Official

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A senior health official estimates that New York City may have hundreds more polio victims. After an adult tested positive and experienced paralysis, the city confirmed the virus’s resurgence last month.

The New York State Health Commissioner, Mary Bassett, concurred with the health official’s assessment and warned that a larger virus outbreak might be on the horizon for the nation. Bassett claims that this is due to the incidences of polio cases among those who have not received the vaccine, as well as evidence of the virus’s existence in sewage lines outside of the city.

“Based on earlier polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know. That for every one case of paralytic polio observed, there may be hundreds of other people infected. Coupled with the latest wastewater findings, the department is treating the single case of polio. As just the tip of the iceberg of much greater potential spread,” Bassett said.

Since polio has not yet been reported, some people have neglected to get immunizations. However, Bassett recommends everyone receive the injections in light of the discovery. Especially children and adults; pregnant women can also get the shots. The immunization doses may also be administered to infants as young as two months.

“As we learn more, what we do know is clear. The danger of polio is present in New York today,” added Bassett.

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The first case in a long time

According to New York City health officials. The first confirmed polio from an unvaccinated person from Rockland County came to light last month. The patient was in the hospital and was paralyzed. Health experts then discovered that the polio virus had entered. The wastewater lines throughout Rockland County and the sewage area close to Orange County.

Scientists carefully examined the strain and discovered. It was genetically linked to the variant that was afflicting the unvaccinated adult in New York. The virus was discovered in sewage lines. Health experts made it clear that this does not necessarily imply that the person had spread the infection. This may indicate that local transmissions have already begun.

“These findings provide further evidence of local — not international. Transmission of a poliovirus that can cause paralysis and potential community spread. Underscoring the urgency of every New York adult and child getting immunized. Stated the Department of Health of the New York State.

79% of people in the state have received polio vaccinations. Locally, Orange County has a vaccination rate of 58%, whereas Rockland County has a rate of over 60%.

The fight against polio

The last that the US discovered polio within its boundaries was more than 40 years ago. In 1979, polio was declared eradicated in the nation. Despite this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. That there had been a few isolated occurrences of confirmed polio cases entering the nation. According to state health department statistics, polio was discovered in 1990 and 2013.

Typically, children receive four doses of the polio vaccine over the course of their development. The child should receive the first dose when they are just two months old. Followed by doses at four months, 18 months, and six years old, respectively. Adults who skipped the vaccinations would need to get them in three doses.

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What are the symptoms

As per the definition given by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Polio is “a disabling and life-threatening disease. The virus spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis.”

Out of every 100 infected individuals, 72 will not show any outward signs of the illness. Of the 100 people, 25 will be experiencing flu-like symptoms. The signs consist of:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain

More difficult situations could result in potentially fatal consequences like:

  • Paresthesia
  • Meningitis
  • Paralysis

The US CDC website provides more information on the poliovirus.

Source: CNBC

Opinions expressed by Economic Insider contributors are their own.

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