Researchers found the polio virus in New York’s wastewater, but are confident the United States is well-protected from a widespread transmission of the disease.
“Pandemic-weary Americans already worried about COVID-19 and monkeypox are on edge about the return of a disease that was thought to have been eradicated, reported Axios on Thursday.”
“But experts say the U.S. is mostly well-protected from the wider transmission of polio, especially if its population is highly vaccinated.”
Health experts told Axios that people who are already vaccinated against polio have nothing to be worried about. As reported by the CDC, 93% of U.S. children are vaccinated by their second birthday and experience almost complete protection.
“This means, of course, that people who have been vaccinated can protect themselves, says Patricia Jackson, spokesperson for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and director of infection prevention at White Rock Medical Center in Dallas.”
The polio virus was found in waste water in Rockland and Orange counties in New York, as well as London. The United Kingdom said it would offer booster shots to tens of thousands of children.
Polio is a serious infectious disease that may be life-threatening. It was once one of the most feared diseases in the United States, but a vaccine created in the 1950s ended the threat. Now that the United States is polio-free, it is still possible for international travelers to introduce it. In its most extreme manifestation, it can attack your spinal cord and brain and cause paralysis.
“Was a water surveillance” tactic has become standard public health practice, according to Axios.