The US Might Face A Polio Outbreak Due To A Delay In Vaccination And Surveillance
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Health experts have been speculating an epidemic of poliovirus in the US soon. Amid the COVID19 pandemic, a polio outbreak might create havoc among the people. Experts have warned that this outbreak might take place due to a delay in vaccination and surveillance. Scientists at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have said that countries need to follow vaccinations and surveillance to prevent a possible outbreak. The director of PAHO Carissa Etienne has said that though the US has eliminated polio once, however, we might see a surge in polio cases in the region if we fall behind in vaccination coverage rates. Etienne has said that we need to continue our effort to stay polio-free region.
As per the agency, the pandemic has affected the immunization and surveillance system in the US. It is designed to catch and respond to vaccine-preventable ailments. During the COVID19, pandemic health authorities need to work hard to maintain the success of the region against the poliovirus. Experts have said that with a strong political pledge from the government and strategic plan between the international agencies, the US has been able to eradicate the poliovirus. Such support has been instrumental in achieving the goal of a polio-free region, said the experts.
The PAHO officials have said that coverage for the polio vaccine has ranged between 85 to 87 percent in the US from 2016 to 2019. Experts fear that this year in 2020, the vaccine coverage will be quite less due to the disruption caused by the COVID19 pandemic in the US. Many healthcare centers have been closed due to the pandemic for months. People have been scared to visit healthcare facilities due to the rapid spread of the virus. All these factors have affected the vaccination coverage for the poliovirus this year in the US. Poliovirus can affect the nerves, which can lead to muscle weakness or paralysis among children. There is no treatment or cure for the disease except for vaccination.
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