Vaccinated man has been shedding deadly mutated live polio virus for 28 years
By Allison Reed
Today, there remain just three countries on Earth – Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan – where the disease is still known to be active, though Nigeria has not had a reported new case of polio in more than a year as of August 2015.
So, it may seem like Polio has disappeared, but the virus is not always as obvious as it may seem. To start, it only causes serious symptoms like paralysis in less than 1 percent of all infections. That means that for every person diagnosed with irreversible paralysis of the legs or spine, there could be another 200 unknown, asymptomatic infections. Furthermore, the Polio virus lives in the feces of sick individuals, meaning it can lurk in sewers and undiagnosed hosts.
Polio vaccination leads to mutation that could spur new outbreaks
Though many have already begun to celebrate near eradication of polio, a problem is appearing that no one seems to have considered – mutation. In the average person, an injection of weakened polio virus causes the body to reproduce the virus in the feces for several days or weeks before clearing it from the body. For one UK man, however, he continues to shed live polio virus in his feces nearly three decades after receiving the vaccine.
Given the live polio vaccine as a baby, he was also later diagnosed with an immune disorder that prevents his body from destroying the disease once it is present in his digestive tract. Though he was fortunate enough not to become ill with polio himself, researchers have detected alarming changes to the virus over time. In fact, stool tests reveal that the virus has mutated into a potent form of polio that caused paralysis in lab mice. This complication suggests that the mutated virus is highly potent and produces especially dangerous risks of contagion.
The risk of polio virus mutation
Vaccinations are widely revered as heroines in the fight against polio, but few people seem to recognize the dangers they can cause as well. Not only is it now proven that the vaccine can permanently introduce polio into the body, but in rare cases, it can even cause the disease itself. It can also be spread for many years without any ‘active’ or reported cases.
Chronic, long-term excreters of the polio virus are located around the globe in unknown numbers. Slovakia, Finland, Estonia and Israel are just some of the countries where polio mutations have been identified in public sewers, and there are probably others. These ‘sleeper’ viruses have the potential to wreak havoc on the population – especially if divergent strains manage to form resistance to current vaccines, replicate and spread.
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