- The last case of polio in Mexico was recorded in 1990.
- At present, there have been no infections in Latin American countries, although in recent months the environmental circulation of poliovirus has been detected in New York.
- Every October 24th World Polio Day is commemorated and the ultimate goal is to achieve the eradication of the disease throughout the planet.
Polio has been eliminated in Mexico for 32 years; however, due to the fact that cases are registered in other countries, close epidemiological surveillance and the application of the hexavalent vaccine to girls and boys are maintained. To continue without cases, it is necessary to maintain immunization policies because they have helped to eradicate this disease at the national level.
In this regard, the person in charge of dispatching the National Center for Child and Adolescent Health (Censia) of the Ministry of Health, Jose Luis Diaz Ortegaindicated that polio is a asymptomatic disease caused by a virus that most often affects girls and boys under two years of age. It is characterized because it causes flaccid paralysis, which is characterized by immediate loss of limb muscle strength and even death.
Advances in the fight against this disease
Every October 24, World Polio Day is commemorated and the main objective is to achieve its eradication throughout the planet. The biggest drawback is that there are still low-income nations where it is quite common.
This specific day was chosen because a October 24 but 1914 Dr. Jonas Salk was born in New York City. Coming from a family of Russian Jewish immigrants, he managed to get into the New York University School of Medicine. There he stood out not only because of his academic prowess but because he also decided to do medical research instead of becoming a doctor.
Upon graduating from school, he was in charge of directing the first team that developed a polio vaccine. Since then this disease has been reduced worldwide by 99 percent.
October 24 I World Day against #Polio 🩺💉
– HEALTH Mexico (@SSalud_mx) October 24, 2022
Recommendations to avoid infections
The virus that causes the disease is transmitted orally, by ingesting water or food contaminated with fecal residue from an infected person. While in addition to the vaccine, the risk of contagion decreases with the frequent hand washing by food preparers and with the consumption of clean or drinking water.
Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life also reduces the risk of infection by this virus. The reason is because bottles could be contaminated by various routes with this and other viruses that cause diarrhea and affect the health, growth and development of children.
The official emphasized that the main protection tool is the application of the hexavalent vaccine that is available in health units and is highly effective.
He reported that besides Mexico in no other country in Latin America there are cases of polio; however, a case of this disease and environmental circulation of poliovirus has been recorded in some counties of New York, United States.
Where is the disease still present?
On the other hand, the monitoring of sewage has made it possible to detect the circulation of poliovirus in London, England, without any cases having been reported to date. Other countries, such as Israel, Malawi and Mozambique, which had already eliminated this disease, have reported cases associated with viral importation from Afghanistan and Pakistan, countries where this disease has not been eliminated.
In Mexico, even when there is no evidence that the virus is circulating, it is recommended that mothers and fathers, as well as caregivers of children, review the health or vaccination card of their children, to confirm that they have the complete scheme. Otherwise, they should be taken to the nearest clinic or health center to be vaccinated.
The hexavalent vaccine is free in all clinics and health centers in the country’s public sector. In addition to preventing poliomyelitis, it protects against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, as well as pneumonia and meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria.
This vaccine is applied by intramuscular injection in three doses at 2, 4 and 6 months of age, and a booster at 18 months. In case of delay, it can be applied before the first year or even before five.
Why is October 24 commemorated as World Polio Day?
WHO declares new polio outbreak; It is the second in this 2022
New York declares state of emergency over polio resurgence