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Monday, November 28, 2022

Concern in the US after the confirmation of a case of polio and “hundreds” of other possible

Image du virus de la poliomyélite au microscope électronique. © Charles Dauguet, Institut Pasteur

After the discovery of the polio virus in London, it was the United States’ turn to face an identical situation. There is a confirmed case of paralytic poliomyelitis in hundreds of other people who may be infected. Why is this forgotten disease resurfacing?

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They are microbes. They are very small and quite easy to confuse. However, bacteria and viruses are two completely different things. And to effectively combat those that cause disease, it is better to clearly identify them.

After confirmationcase of polio of crippling disease in Rockland County, New York, in the United States in June, federal health authorities increased oversight of virus from polio in wasting throughout the state. A few days ago they announced that virions were identified in two different geographic areas in June and July: in Orange County and again in Rockland County.

The confirmed case concerns a young man, whose identity is unknown, who was admitted to Rockland County Hospital with a paralyzed leg. Doctors quickly confirmed the presence of the polio virus in this unvaccinated patient. A person could be infected due to two factors: his lack of vaccination against polio and exposure to a strain of poliovirus.

Polio strains circulating in wastewater

Analyzes phylogenetic strain isolated from this patient show that it is close to those used in the oral polio vaccine (OPV). OPV is a live vaccine. weakened, that is, it contains one or more active strains of the polio virus, which are not capable of causing the disease, but create strong immunity. A person who has received OPV releases virions. by using faeces that may remain in circulation in communities where vaccination coverage against polio is not enough.

In circulation, the virus accumulates mutations that can cause it to recur. pathogenic and neurotoxic – it strikes spinal cord. If an unvaccinated person comes into contact with such a strain, they can trigger the symptoms of polio. This, in all likelihood, is what happened here. Health authorities clarify that this case is not related to the vaccine. On the contrary, if the patient had received it, he would not have fallen ill.

OPV is no longer used in the United States or Europe, but is still used elsewhere in the world, where it effectively protects children from this incurable and deadly disease at low cost. In the West, children are now being vaccinated with IPV (inactivated polio vaccine). With this virus, there is no risk of circulating poliovirus because it contains inactivated virions that have lost all infectivity.

Polio danger present in New York today

The situation is being taken very seriously in New York County: Combined with the latest sewage data, the Department sees a single case of polio as the tip of the iceberg of a much larger potential spread. As we learn more, what we know becomes clear: the danger of polio is present in New York today. We must address this issue now by ensuring that adults, including pregnant women, and young children as young as 2 months of age are aware of their vaccination – reliable protection against this debilitating virus that every New Yorker needs “, they write in their press release. Health authorities estimate that for every confirmed case of paralytic poliomyelitis, there are several hundred people may be infected.

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