The Governor of New York State has declared a state of emergency due to the spread of the polio virus in the state. A worrying resurgence, caused by the too low rate of vaccination.
It was samples of wastewater taken from the city that alerted the New York authorities. Like those in four surrounding counties, they tested positive for the polio virus, a first in ten years in the United States.
Indeed, polio has been largely eradicated from the USA thanks to vaccination campaigns that began in 1955. In 1979, the United States had officially declared that it was rid of this dangerous virus which targets children in particular. Indeed, polio is incurable, but it can be prevented thanks to the vaccine. Mainly affecting early childhood, the virus usually causes muscle weakness and paralysis, and in the most severe cases, permanent disability and death.
But according to New York authorities, vaccination rates are too low in some parts of the state. Friday’s emergency declaration aims to revive flagging vaccination rates.
The New York State Department of Health said it aims to increase the vaccination rate from the current state average of around 79% to over 90%.
” If you or your child are unvaccinated or not up to date with your vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a press release.
Officials began monitoring the state’s sewage for poliovirus after an unvaccinated man from Rockland County, just north of New York City, contracted the virus last July – the first recorded case. since 2013 – suffering in particular from severe paralysis.