A case of polio infection was recorded in the United States for the first time in 40 years. The disease was identified in a resident of Rockland County, New York, representatives of the local health department said, Spectrum News reports.
"Many of you may be too young to remember polio, but when I was growing up this disease struck fear in families, including my own. The fact that it is still around decades after the vaccine was created shows you just how relentless it is. Do the right thing for your child and the greater good of your community and have your child vaccinated now," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said.
It was clarified that the local resident may have contracted the disease outside the United States.
Poliomyelitis affects the central nervous system and may lead to disability or even death. The disease is most common in infants and children. The vaccine against the disease was introduced in the US in 1955. The vaccine stopped the prolonged epidemic in the country that left 21,000 paralyzed and killed 3,175. Last natural cases of polio in the United States were reported in 1979.
The virus is transmitted from human to human and may cause deterioration of the spinal cord, causing paralysis of the body.
Most people infected with poliovirus (about 72 out of 100) will not have any pronounced symptoms of the disease. About one in every four people with poliovirus infection will have flu-like symptoms, which may include:
These symptoms usually last from tow to five days and then disappear.
Fewer people with poliovirus infection will develop other, more severe symptoms that affect the brain and spinal cord:
Paralysis is the most severe symptom of the disease as it may lead to permanent disability and death. Poliovirus may cause death because the virus attacks the muscles that help us breathe.
After full recovery, children may develop new muscle pains, weakness, or paralysis as they reach adulthood. This is called post-polio syndrome. Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a condition that may affect polio survivors decades after they have recovered from their original poliovirus infection.
Poliovirus is highly contagious. It spreads from person to person. It lives in the throat and in the intestines of an infected person. Poliovirus only infects humans. It enters the body through the mouth and spreads through:
An infected person can transmit the virus to other people immediately before and up to 2 weeks after the onset of symptoms.
There are two types of vaccine that can prevent polio:
Almost all children (99 out of 100) who receive all recommended doses of inactivated polio vaccine will be protected from polio.
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