After about a decade in the United States, the first case of polio in an unvaccinated young man was diagnosed. Now he is paralyzed, his close contacts of the last few weeks are being sought.
According to what emerged, the patient resides in the Rockland County and developed paralysis. The first symptoms emerged about a month ago and the boy has not recently traveled abroad: apparently the patient has contracted a strain of the vaccine-derived virus and it is very likely that it was transmitted to him by a subject vaccinated with a drug containing it polio virus. This type of vaccine is not available in the United States but in other countries.
The young man who contracted polio is no longer considered contagious, however health officials are trying to figure out how many people he entered with. in contact in recent weeks. Fortunately, most Americans received the polio vaccine, but unvaccinated people could be at significant risks, said Dr Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County Health Commissioner. Health authorities accordingly scheduled the opening of vaccination hubs for tomorrow and Monday and encouraged anyone who had not been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
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What is polio
Polio is a serious infectious disease affecting the central nervous system that mainly affects i motor neurons of the spinal cord. The spread of this pathology peaked in the United States in 1952 with over 21,000 cases recorded. In Italy, in 1958, over 8 thousand infections were notified.
As explained by the Istituto Superiore della Sanità “the disease is caused by three types of polio-virus (1,2 and 3), belonging to the enterovirus genus, which invades the nervous system within a few hours, destroying the affected neural cells and causing paralysis that can become total in severe cases. In general, polio has more devastating effects on the leg muscles than on the arm muscles. The legs lose muscle tone and become flaccid, a condition known as flaccid paralysis. cases of infection extended to all the limbs, the patient can become quadriplegic. In the most severe form, the bulbar, the virus paralyzes the muscles innervated by the cranial nerves, reducing the respiratory capacity, ingestion and speech. In this case, it is necessary support the patient with breathing aids. In the 1950s, steel lungs were very popular for this purpose, replaced today by much more agile tools “.
How poliovirus is transmitted
The ISS also states that “the contagion occurs via the fecal-oral route, through the ingestion of contaminated water or food or through the saliva and droplets emitted with coughs and sneezing from sick subjects or healthy carriers. The poliovirus it multiplies in the oropharyngeal mucosa, in the intestine and in the underlying lymphatic tissues and can also spread through the faeces, well before the symptoms of the disease are evident. Man represents the only natural reservoir of the poliomyelitis virus, which can it affects people of all ages but mainly occurs in children under the age of three “.