The Chicago Division of Public Well being announced that the city’s wastewater surveillance plan will expand to commence testing for poliovirus, with samples collected from reclamation plants that serve Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Even though no case of polio has been identified in Chicago or Illinois at this time, city overall health officials mentioned the expansion is a proactive measure to enhance capacity to detect and respond to case of the virus.
The preventative measure is most likely in response to the detection of polio in city wastewater samples in New York in July 2022.
Additional wastewater testing indicated that the virus was present in a number of counties with a low polio vaccination price, indicating that polio was most likely circulating amongst the neighborhood communities.
Even though city overall health officials mentioned that wastewater testing can not reveal who is infected or how a lot of persons are infected, it can help other information and surveillance techniques applied to protect against spread of the virus.
Officials later added that not each and every detection of poliovirus will be result in for concern.
“Having said that, if distinct strains of poliovirus are discovered in communities that have low vaccination prices, it can spread amongst unvaccinated people, placing them at threat for becoming infected and building polio. Any individual who is unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated is at threat for building paralysis if infected with poliovirus,” a statement from the Chicago Division of Well being mentioned.
CDPH Deputy Commissioner Massimo Pacilli mentioned that although polio was eradicated in the U.S. in 1979, final year’s detection in New York highlights the significance of speedy detection to stem any prospective future outbreaks.
Polio could lead to permanent paralysis of the limbs and is potentially fatal due to paralysis of muscle tissues applied to breathe or swallow.
According to Chicago overall health officials, most persons infected with the virus will not practical experience any symptoms, although some will practical experience flu-like symptoms.
1 in 25 persons who get infected with poliovirus will contract meningitis, although one particular in 200 persons infected will grow to be paralyzed, Chicago overall health officials mentioned in a statement.
City overall health officials reiterated that the threat of contracting poliovirus in the U.S. is particularly low, as most persons are vaccinated against the virus in their childhood, supplying protection against significant illness, such as paralytic polio.
Study suggests that persons who are vaccinated against poliovirus as kids are most likely protected via adulthood, Chicago overall health officials mentioned.
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