Dr. Abinash Virk – Polio detected in US – what this means
Dr. Abinash Virk, Mayo Clinic Infectious Diseases – Polio, also known as poliomyelitis, is caused by the poliovirus. The contagious virus can infect a person’s spinal cord and cause paralysis. The virus has been detected in the sewers of London, and in sewer systems in New York, including New York City. Health officials are urging unvaccinated residents in those communities to get immunized or get boosters if already vaccinated.
“The single case that we have in the U.S. appears to be vaccine strain polio and seems to be related to the virus that has been identified in the sewage system in the U.K.,” says Dr. Abinash Virk, an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic. “The important thing about this particular case is that he never traveled anywhere outside of the U.S. He got it from somebody here in the U.S.”
There are many questions that health officials are now trying to determine, says Dr. Virk, including how the virus got into the U.S., where it is now, and how many people are at risk.