The Chicago Division of Public Overall health announced that the city’s wastewater surveillance system will expand to start testing for poliovirus, with samples collected from reclamation plants that serve Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Although no case of polio has been identified in Chicago or Illinois at this time, city wellness officials mentioned the expansion is a proactive measure to improve 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 various counties with a low polio vaccination price, indicating that polio was most likely circulating amongst the nearby communities.
Although city wellness officials mentioned that wastewater testing can’t reveal who is infected or how lots of persons are infected, it can help other information and surveillance approaches made use of to avert spread of the virus.
Officials later added that not just about every detection of poliovirus will be lead to for concern.
“Having said that, if distinct strains of poliovirus are located in communities that have low vaccination prices, it can spread amongst unvaccinated people, placing them at danger for becoming infected and building polio. Any person who is unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated is at danger for building paralysis if infected with poliovirus,” a statement from the Chicago Division of Overall health 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 fast detection to stem any possible future outbreaks.
Polio could lead to permanent paralysis of the limbs and is potentially fatal due to paralysis of muscle tissues made use of to breathe or swallow.
According to Chicago wellness officials, most persons infected with the virus will not knowledge any symptoms, although some will knowledge flu-like symptoms.
One particular in 25 persons who get infected with poliovirus will contract meningitis, although 1 in 200 persons infected will grow to be paralyzed, Chicago wellness officials mentioned in a statement.
City wellness officials reiterated that the danger of contracting poliovirus in the U.S. is very low, as most persons are vaccinated against the virus in their childhood, supplying protection against significant illness, like paralytic polio.
Study suggests that persons who are vaccinated against poliovirus as kids are most likely protected via adulthood, Chicago wellness officials mentioned.