ANALYSIS / OPINION:
The United States was declared "polio-free" in 1979, a feat achieved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by "19459019" with an effective vaccine.
But now it's back – right? Get ready for duplicity.
The government says no, the condition that affects hundreds of people in the United States and causes them polio-like symptoms, including paralysis, is in fact not polio. It's polio-like. It's polio-pretty much. But it is still no polio.
Rather, the government says it is acute flaccid myelitis, a disease that affects the central nervous system of mostly children, makes their limbs weak, their muscles droop, their reflexes slow, their balance goes down, and their ability to grow moving, severely impaired ̵
But what else does the government say?
In its section "Possible causes of AFM," the CDC writes: "Certain viruses that can cause AFM or similar neurological conditions are poliovirus and non-polio enteroviruses, West Nile virus, and viruses in the same family like WNV, especially the Japanese Encephalitis virus and the Saint Louis Encephalitis virus, and adenoviruses. "
So it's not polio – but it can be caused by polio. Parse language a lot?
"Right now, we know that poliovirus is not the cause of these AFM cases," said Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases of the CDC, in a statement by Inverse.com
to the 386 cases of AFM that the CDC confirmed in US patients between August 2014 and September 2018. Sixty-two of them were confirmed in 2018 alone in 22 states.
"This is actually a pretty dramatic disease," Messonnier continued. "These children suddenly have a weakness and are generally seeking medical help and being examined by neurologists, infectious disease physicians and their pediatricians, and become more aware of public health."
And this public health awareness includes this strict statement: It is not polio.
After all, if it were polio, it would open the door to some interesting questions – questions that would touch politically sensitive issues that could lead to angry voters and backlash against politicians and indignant shock outbursts and accusations against the very government authorities, to protect American citizens. An example?
Well, as the CDC reports, "It is crucial to maintain the success rate of vaccination campaigns in the US, as the disease still exists in some parts of the world … For the best protection, children should Four doses of the polio vaccine are given … at the age of 2 months, 4 months, 6 to 18 months and then a booster dose at the age of 4 to 6 years. "
True. But here's the political part – the part that raises question marks that simply hang in the air: Guess who's not vaccinated according to established CDC plans?
"Immunization coverage among immigrants is a legitimate cause," a headline told the Center for Immigration Studies in February 2015.
Undoubtedly – if vaccinations are actually the cure for certain diseases – bring citizens across the United States who reject the shots, their entire community in danger. But undoubtedly, even those who cross the border, especially illegally, carry an even greater risk. It's just common sense: If people from areas of the world come to the United States who are still fighting disease, like polio, then the chance of these diseases spreading in that country becomes a real threat.
We only know that In America polio was eradicated in 1979. But a polio-like disease that causes paralysis and other polio-like conditions in their mostly childhood victims – which can be caused by polioviruses – has developed in America between 2014 and today. Coincidentally, "According to the Department of Homeland Security in January 2014, there were 12.1 million immigrants illegally in the country," FactCheck.org reported.
Have all these 12.1 million received the right vaccinations? in line with the right CDC schedule?
We do not know. In addition, over the past few years there has been a backlash against US citizens' vaccinations – the Hollywood types who've cracked down on vaccines, the whispers of government overhaul of vaccine side effects, the reports of Big Pharma's close ties to the big government what is an open door to disease.
"This is an evolving condition," said Ryan Wozniak, the Surveillance and Investigator Supervisor with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, where two cases of the disease have just been confirmed, News 3 reports in Madison. "We still try to learn a lot about it."
For the sake of America's children, America's citizen, we hope that it's the doctors, not the bureaucrats, who really lead the tuition.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley