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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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After Decades, Polio On The Rise Again

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After decades, cases of the fatal disease polio are rising in London, New York, and Jerusalem. Parents around the globe were tormented by their children falling ill with polio, especially in the first half of the twentieth century.

Children under the age of five are highly prone to the disease and usually acquire it asymptomatically, showing symptoms of vomiting and fever. Though polio has no treatment, it can be prevented with a vaccine that was produced in the 1950s. With this vaccine, polio cases reduced worldwide.

Polio is a contagious disease, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and spreads at a high rate due to direct exposure to feces.

There are two variations of the poliovirus. Vaccine-derived polio exists along with a wild-variant. In New York, a polio case of paralysis was registered, on the other hand, the second variant of the disease was identified in the wastewater both in London and New York. Akin poliovirus discovered in Jerusalem is of genetic makeup.

Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist in New York, said, “the scope may even be far wider than we can even understand or imagine. Since the majority of us who are vaccinated don’t see it since vaccines have become victims of their success, we might not even be aware of the expansion of polio”.

But according to Derek Ehrhardt, worldwide head for polio at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “under-vaccinated populations continue to be the main cause of both vaccine-derived and wild polio episodes.”

In 2020, 1,081 polio cases were reported to be caused by the vaccine, about three times as many cases in 2019. So far, 177 polio cases have been registered in 2022, though polio immunization campaigns are actively trying to prevent the spread of the disease.

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