America is at risk of polio outbreak due to epidemic interference


Health experts fear a polio virus outbreak in the US during the Kovid-19 epidemic due to delays in vaccination and surveillance.


On 17 October a healthcare worker gives a polio vaccine to a child in Brasilia, Brazil.


© Erasmo Salom / Latin America News Agency / Reuters
On 17 October a healthcare worker gives a polio vaccine to a child in Brasilia, Brazil.


According to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) experts, polio vaccination and surveillance should be maintained during epidemics in countries in the region.

PAHO Director Carissa Etienne said, “Although as a region we have already defeated polio once, if we allow vaccination coverage rates to fall and fall too low, we will be able to prevent polio in our communities Will be at risk for spread. ” “For this reason it is more important than ever to do our part to protect and sustain polio eradication in our region, while we wait for countries in other parts of the world to achieve this goal, “Etienne said.

Epidemic and vaccination systems are designed to capture and respond to vaccine-resistant diseases.

Cuauhtemoc Ruiz Matus, head of PAHO’s immunization program, said, “Now during the epidemic, we must work extra hard to lose what we have gained.”

Ruiz said that strong political commitment from governments, strategic partnerships between international agencies and the work of health care workers contributed to the success in the region’s fight against the virus.

“Without all these things, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Ruiz said.

According to PAHO, reported coverage for the polio vaccine for the US ranged between 85–87% between 2016 and 2019.

Coverage may decrease in 2020 “due to disruption of primary health care activities due to COVID-19 epidemic according to PAHO”.

Polio was once a common virus. In some young children it can affect the nerves and cause muscle weakness or paralysis. There is no cure and no cure but infection can be prevented by getting vaccinated.

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