Polio Outbreak In US


A case of polio was reported in New York State last month. It is the first time in the whole decade that this infectious disease has made its way into the US. Not only has it rang alarms for the US, but a hint of another global crisis is on the cards. The case appeared in Rockland County, north of New York City.


Health officials stated that the virus might have originated from outside. The reason is that according to sequencing, someone who received an oral polio vaccine transmitted the case. The US is not administrating this vaccine since 2000. However, the threat of the virus’ contagiousness is prevailing, and officials have advised the residents to be vigilant. The health department has encouraged people to become vaccinated and receive a booster if they belong to the high-risk group.


Polio was once a hazardous disease in the US. Annually, 15000 individuals used to become paralyzed after diagnosing poliovirus. It is a disease that takes away your walking capabilities and makes you disabled. However, in the 1950s, a vaccine was introduced to encounter this deadly virus. The vaccines were given to a widespread audience and were made mandatory. As a result, the graph of infections declined significantly. The country had utterly wiped out the disease from its core in a matter of time. All the polio cases reported in the US after 1979 were either brought by travelers or originated from an outside source.


The recent pandemic, Covid-19, disrupted many operations, including the essential vaccination of children. During Covid-19, the US saw the worst decline in children’s vaccinations in the past 30 years. This decline is now posing a threat to the future of polio disease in the US. Moreover, World Health Organization (WHO) warned the country about this sustained vaccination decline.


Rockland County has had a history of dangerous contagious diseases. In 2018, Rockland suffered a measles outbreak, another vaccine-preventable disease.


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