New York concerned about re-emergence of polio, intensifying vaccination campaign

New York concerned about re-emergence of polio, intensifying vaccination campaign

Because in mid-July, the first confirmed case of polio was recorded in Rockland County, the first in the United States since 2013.

60% of children were vaccinated

For New York City, 86% of children aged six months to five years received three doses of the vaccine, which means that 14% are not fully protected. In Rockland County, only 60% of 2-year-olds are vaccinated, compared to 79% in New York state as a whole and 92% nationwide, according to health officials.

“Concerned,” the federal Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) sent experts to New York state this summer for better screening and immunization. Because disease can have “devastating and irreversible consequences.”

Polio, which mainly affects young children and causes paralysis, has been practically eliminated in the world, with the exception of poor countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In the United States, whose president Franklin Roosevelt fell ill in 1921 at the age of 39, the number of infections declined at the end of the 1950s (15,000 paralysis per year at that time), thanks to the first vaccine. The last natural infection in the country dates back to 1979.

orthodox jewish community

However, an analysis of Rockland’s case indicates that the young New Yorker’s infection would come from someone who was orally vaccinated. This oral vaccine multiplies in the intestines and can be transmitted through wastewater containing faeces. Less virulent than the natural virus, this variant can cause serious symptoms, such as limb paralysis.

In this quiet residential suburb with lush greenery, a large Orthodox Jewish community resides. According to local publications, Rockland’s patient is an Orthodox Jewish American in his twenties.

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As health liaison Shoshana Bernstein admits, her community usually hates vaccination, but it’s like “any isolated and closed group.” Ms. Bernstein, however, is relaying the message, as a dozen rabbis did last week in a letter to Rockland Jews: You have to get vaccinated. It also relies on “senior Jews” who remember polio in the 1950s and can convince the youngest of the rebels.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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