The first case of polio detected nearly 10 years ago this summer in the United States is a reminder of the importance of vaccinating against this disease in Quebec to reduce the low but potential risk of an epidemic.
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“Polio can only spread if there is a large enough community of unprotected people,” certified microbiologist Christian Jacob says.
In Rockland County, New York, where a young American was paralyzed after contracting a highly contagious disease in July, only 60% of children were vaccinated.
In contrast, 86% of Quebec youth received their five doses of the polio vaccine in 2019, according to figures from the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ).
This is a “very good vaccination rate,” Jacob says.
However, reluctance to take vaccinations, which has been on the rise since the start of the COVID pandemic, could reduce these numbers in the coming years.
“At that time, it is possible that we will see certain small epidemics emerge, even in industrialized countries,” he continues.
Dr. says.s Michel J. Bergeron, founder of the Center for Infection Research at Université Laval.
They should make sure there are enough vaccines in stock, convince reluctant residents to get immunized and monitor wastewater, where polio can be detected, says Christian Jacob.
In response to questions from registerPublic Health Canada wrote that it intended to “begin sewage analysis as soon as possible,” without giving a specific date or cities.
The agency’s spokeswoman said the National Microbiology Laboratory will also test wastewater samples collected earlier this year from major high-risk municipalities.
♦ Canada was officially declared free of wild poliovirus in 1994 by the World Health Organization.
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