CPS: Prevent polio infection by immunization

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten – October 24 this week marked World Polio Day. 

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says World Polio Day was an opportunity to renew the commitment to the polio eradication endgame and begin preparing for the documentation and certification process for global eradication.

 

Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis in a matter of hours. It especially affects children under age five. There is no cure, but it is preventable through immunization. When administered several times, the polio vaccine can provide lifetime protection.

 

The Region of the Americas this year is celebrating 26 years with no cases of wild poliovirus. The last case was detected on August 23, 1991, in Peru. The countries of the region, supported by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), were able to eliminate polio and maintain the Americas free of the disease by achieving high rates of vaccination coverage of children and through sustained epidemiological surveillance to ensure early detection of any outbreaks.

 

Poliovirus is still circulating in three countries of the world.  PAHO says, until polio is eradicated everywhere, the global population will continue to be at risk. 

For more information, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003.

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