Researchers Find the Polio Virus in a New York City Suburb

Researchers Find the Polio Virus in a New York City Suburb

Polio (or poliomyelitis) has recently been detected in the UK after roughly 40 years. While doctors were shocked, it seems that the US is not safe at all from the emergence of the life-threatening virus. 

Reuters reveals that traces of the polio virus were detected in the wastewater from a suburb of New York City. Unsurprisingly, residents are now urged to make sure they have been vaccinated against polio. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials are now concerned that the presence of the virus in wastewater indicates the possible existence of more people in the community that are already infected.

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The polio virus can be very cunning, as the majority of individuals who become infected don’t manifest any noticeable symptoms. According to the CDC, one out of 4 people who become infected will have to deal with symptoms similar to those caused by flu, such as nausea, headaches, fever, sore throat, and more.

Polio is also a very contagious disease, as it can spread from person to person easily through direct contact. Less than one out of 100 individuals who become infected with polio will have their spinal cord and brain affected. These people can deal with meningitis, paralysis, as well as paresthesia.

Paresthesia develops a painless prickling or burning sensation in the limbs. Sometimes, it can occur in other parts of the body as well. Patients describe the sensation as itching, numbness, skin crawling, or tingling.

Polio has the potential to cause irreversible paralysis in some cases, so there’s no wonder why we’re talking about one of the most feared diseases out there. To make matters worse, there’s no current cure for the virus, but vaccines are doing a great job in preventing it. 

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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