This old, highly contagious disease, which disappeared years ago in France, is making a comeback!

Humanity has been fighting the spread of Covid for more than two years. As fearsome as it is ruthless, the constantly evolving virus is still present in many countries.

Lately it’s another virus thought to be eradicated that made people talk about him: poliomyelitis. According to Le Monde, the virus reappeared in the country of Uncle SAM. Note that the last case recorded in the country dates fromalmost ten years ago.

A case of Poliomyelitis detected

On Thursday July 21, 2022, US health authorities announcedquite surprising news. A young man living in Rockland County tested positive for Polio. However, in the country, we thought we were done with the disease. The fact is that there had been no polio cases in the United States since 2013.

According to reports, the young American who contracted the polio virus had not received his vaccine. The first symptoms, he started feeling them about a month ago. An individual who received the oral poliomyelitis vaccine or OPV would be the source of its contamination.

You should know that in the United States, this vaccine has not been used for more than two decades. Indeed, it was in 2000 that it was administered for the last time. The health authorities therefore believe that a person who had their vaccine abroad could infect the young man.

In Rockland County, medical personnel are waiting to see if more cases of contamination arise. The authorities are encouraging residents to receive one dose as a precaution. For information, the case of polio contamination has dropped by 99% since 1988. The disease is now on the way to extinction and it is thanks to the vaccine.

The symptoms of the disease

Polio is a contagious disease that mainly affects children under 5 years old. Poliovirus is the name of the causative agent of the disease. There are 3 types. Since infected people show almost no signs, it is very difficult to detect disease. Reason why some do not know they are sick until their condition worsens.

In general, the symptoms of polio appear after 7 to 14 days after infection. They are manifested by fever, nausea, headache, and vomiting. Severe muscle pain and difficulty breathing may also appear.

In some cases, poliomyelitis can cause partial paralysis. People who have had paralytic poliomyelitis may see symptoms return after 15 to 40 years old. Note that the risk of death from the disease is higher in adults. According to statistics, death occurs in 15 to 30% adults with paralytic poliomyelitis. Against only 3 to 5% in children.

Regarding the mode of transmission, it is through stool or saliva. Sometimes the disease is also transmitted by water and food. For information, there is no no treatment for poliomyelitis. To get vaccinated is the only means of prevention.

Traces of poliovirus in London

In June, British health authorities found traces of poliovirus in water from a sewage treatment plant in London.

“It is important to note that the virus was isolated only from environmental samples – no associated cases of paralysis were detected,” explains the WHO.

British authorities believe an individual who was vaccinated overseas imported the virus. In fact, there are many countries who use the oral polio vaccine (OPV) during their vaccination campaigns.

To avoid a tragedy, the World Health Organization then invited all countries to exercise caution. Especially those who “who have a high volume of travel and contact with polio-affected countries and areas”.

The organization encouraged them to strengthen their monitoring in order to facilitate the detection of possible importation of the virus.

“Any form of poliovirus, wherever found, poses a threat to children everywhere,” the WHO said at the time.

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