Senior PAHO official Dr. Daniel Salas is warning about the polio risk in the rest of the Americas after a recent vaccine-derived poliovirus case was discovered in the US.
“The risk of polio reintroduction is real,” Salas interview to mark World Polio Day on Monday.
“We are concerned because millions of children are unvaccinated,” the continued.
According to Salas, there are millions of unvaccinated children has been growing in the past few years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when polio vaccination coverage decreased even further.
The Americas region was declared polio-free in 1994, eliminating wild poliovirus transmission.
It was also noted that surveillance systems for the disease have since declined in quality, which affects the timely detection of cases.
Polio causes irreversible, permanent muscular paralysis and in severe cases death