New York state health officials have found indications of additional cases of polio virus in wastewater samples from two different counties, leading them to warn that hundreds of people may be infected with the potentially serious virus…
“Based on earlier polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for every one case of paralytic polio observed, there may be hundreds of other people infected,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “Coupled with the latest wastewater findings, the Department is treating the single case of polio as just the tip of the iceberg of much greater potential spread. As we learn more, what we do know is clear: the danger of polio is present in New York today…”
Polio is “a serious and life-threatening disease,” the state health department said. It is highly contagious and can be spread by people who aren’t yet symptomatic. Symptoms usually appear within 30 days of infection, and can be mild or flu-like. Some people who are infected may become paralyzed or die.
Before the polio vaccine was introduced in the 1950s, thousands of Americans died in polio outbreaks and tens of thousands, many of them children, were left with paralysis. After a successful vaccination campaign, polio was officially declared eradicated in the U.S. in 1979.
The scariest words I’ve read in decades. I was a schoolkid in a New England factory town during the years of peak polio waves, every summer. I had peers who were infected. Some who died. Some who were paralyzed for life. Commonplace before Dr. Salk’s vaccine.
7 thoughts on “Hundreds in New York state may be infected with polio virus”
Anti-vaccine activists giddily celebrate as poliovirus spreads in NY https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/08/anti-vaccine-activists-giddily-celebrate-as-poliovirus-spreads-in-ny/
“Loathsome anti-vax group run by RFK Jr gets Meta permaban—finally.” https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/08/rfk-jrs-anti-vax-group-finally-permabanned-from-instagram-facebook/
Yesterday, the anti-vaccine group the Children’s Health Defense celebrated the spread of poliovirus in New York, mocking health officials spreading awareness that polio is vaccine-preventable. Today, CHD reports that the group was also permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram yesterday. A screenshot of Meta’s notification in its press release says that the ban is due to CHD’s practice of spreading “misinformation that could cause physical harm.”
Polio may make a comeback – and it started with falsely linking autism to vaccination https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/sep/13/polio-comeback-autism-vaccination
“A mutated virus, anti-vaxxers and a vulnerable population: how polio returned to the US” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/29/polio-us-vaccines-new-york-rockland-county
New York governor declares state disaster emergency amid circulating poliovirus evidence, samples found in 5 counties https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/09/health/new-york-polio-disaster-emergency/index.html
7AM MDT, tomorrow, 11th
The United States, one of the world’s richest and most developed countries, has met the World Health Organization’s criteria to be listed as a country with circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.
The US now joins the ranks of around 30 other polio outbreak countries, largely low- and middle-income, including Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, and Yemen. Notably, the list includes just two other high-income countries—the United Kingdom and Israel—which have detected the circulation of a poliovirus strain genetically linked to the one spreading in the US. https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/us-officially-added-to-whos-list-of-poliovirus-outbreak-countries/
Inclusion on the WHO’s polio outbreak list is a new low point for the US. On the one hand, it reinforces a key global public health message in the campaign to fully eradicate that virus, which is that “any form of poliovirus anywhere is a threat to children everywhere.” But it mainly spotlights the dangerous foothold that anti-vaccine sentiments have gained in the country over the past several decades.