Oct, 2022 - By SMI
Investigations are ongoing to determine how polio returned in New York this year, but public health authorities think the virus came from outside — a nation that still utilises the oral polio vaccination.
Because the oral vaccination includes live virus that can evolve to become dangerous in rare conditions, American health officials ceased administering it more than 20 years ago. However, it is still widely used in other nations.
A weakened virus strain that was used in one of the oral vaccinations changed over time to trigger the epidemic, according to genetic analysis of New York poliovirus samples. Due to increased foreign travel and poor vaccination rates in several New York areas, the virus was able to enter the country this year and disrupt the country's economy.
But after a successful vaccination effort halted transmission in the 1960s, the virus has gradually disappeared from American citizens' consciousness over the years.
According to the CDC, polio disabled more than 35,000 Americans annually in the late 1940s. However, the development of an efficient vaccine in 1955 significantly slowed the spread of the illness, which by the 1960s had dropped to less than 100 cases yearly.
Although rare instances that originated outside have been found throughout the years, the virus had been eradicated from the U.S. by 1979.
The agency that oversees the global effort to eradicate the virus, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, said Oliver Rosenbauer, a spokeswoman for the group, "The underlying lesson is this is an infectious illness and it moves readily with population movements."
In general, oral polio vaccinations are secure, efficient, affordable, and simple to give. They have been instrumental in the global effort to eliminate polio, one of the most comprehensive public health campaigns since the successful eradication of smallpox in 1980. In the twenty-first century, two of the three wild types—naturally occurring poliovirus strains—have been wiped out.
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