Poliomyelitis, also known as polio, is a crippling and potentially fatal disease caused by the poliovirus. Following the discovery of the virus in the state’s wastewater, New York declared a state of emergency on Friday.
There are three types of poliovirus, known as wild poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3 (WPV1, WPV2, and WPV3), of which types 2 and 3 are extinct. Type 1, which is found in a few places around the world, is the most likely to cause paralysis.
New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett urged unvaccinated people to get their shots as soon as possible.
“We simply cannot gamble on polio,” Bassett said. “I implore New Yorkers not to take any risks at all.” Polio immunization is both safe and effective, protecting nearly all people who receive the recommended doses from disease.”
“Do not postpone vaccination. If you are unsure about your or your family’s vaccination status, contact a health care provider, clinic, or county health department to ensure that you and your loved ones receive all recommended doses.”
Polio symptoms and how it is spread:
Most people who become infected with poliovirus show no visible symptoms. Few will exhibit flu-like symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, and stomach ache.
A smaller proportion will develop more serious symptoms such as meningitis or paralysis, which affect the brain and spinal cord.
Polio is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact. It lives in the throat and intestines of infected people. In unsanitary conditions, the virus can contaminate food and water.
Poliovirus infects only humans and enters the body through the mouth. It spreads through contact with an infected person’s feces or droplets from a sneeze or cough.
Someone can become infected with poliovirus if they touch their mouth after picking up minute pieces of feces on their hands. You can also get it if you put feces-contaminated objects in your mouth, such as toys.
You are most vulnerable to polio if you have not been immunized. You can also become infected if you live in or travel to an area where polio has not been eradicated. If your child is under the age of five,
If you are pregnant, you are also at risk.