New York state well being officers warned final week that a whole lot of individuals might have been contaminated with the polio virus, based mostly on current wastewater testing in numerous counties inside New York state.

We requested Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious illnesses at UC Davis Youngsters’s Hospital, about polio and what we have to know.

Wasn’t polio eradicated? Why has there been a resurgence of polio?

Based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), polio infections peaked in the US in 1952, with greater than 21,000 instances that resulted in paralysis. The first polio vaccine was accessible within the U.S. in 1955 and the vaccines have been very profitable. 

We haven’t seen instances of polio transmitted within the western hemisphere since 1991, though there have been a handful of imported instances. With the pandemic, there was a lower in immunization charges within the U.S. and worldwide. In lots of areas of the world, polio continues to be a menace and youngsters will not be receiving their vaccinations.

What are the signs of polio?

Polio is a viral an infection. The vast majority of polio instances don’t have any signs in any respect, or they’ve very gentle signs, together with fever, headache and nausea, which go away after a couple of days.

A minority of instances, possibly 3% or 4%, might progress and trigger meningitis, which is irritation of the liner of the mind. Meningitis may be very scary, however this sort of meningitis is usually very properly tolerated and most of the people get better.

Nevertheless, in lower than 1% of instances, polio could cause paralysis. It infects elements of the spinal twine, particular cells of the spinal twine that management our motion. If these cells are contaminated, it could end in paralysis of assorted physique elements. One in 200 infections results in irreversible paralysis, in accordance with the World Well being Group.

Who’s in danger for polio?

Individuals who aren’t vaccinated for polio might be in danger for polio an infection. It could have an effect on anybody of any age who hasn’t been vaccinated for polio, not simply youngsters.

How is polio unfold?

Polio could be very contagious. Just about all youngsters had been contaminated with polio sooner or later earlier than the vaccination was accessible.

It’s transmitted by the respiratory route, carried within the nostril and throat, for a couple of weeks when somebody is contaminated.

It may also be unfold by means of contaminated stool. Polio can dwell for a lot of weeks within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Good hygiene is essential. 

Is there a check to diagnose polio?

Sure, we are able to check for polio by means of specimens from the throat, stool and sometimes the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Is the vaccine protected for youngsters?

The inactivated polio vaccine, referred to as IPV, is a really protected and efficient vaccine with few unwanted effects. It could trigger a bit fever and irritation (ache, redness and swelling on the injection web site). It’s usually given mixed with different vaccines in the identical syringe so usually you don’t want an additional shot to get it.  

When is the polio vaccine given?

The polio vaccine is given to youngsters in a four-dose collection as a part of the common vaccine schedule advisable by the CDC at:

  • 2 months outdated
  • 4 months outdated
  • 6-18 months outdated
  • 4-6 years of age.

You will get your polio vaccine at UC Davis Well being and different main care suppliers. At all times be certain your little one is updated with the polio vaccine and different routine advisable vaccinations.


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