Polio resurgence is a cause for concern, expert says

Written by on August 8, 2022

Polio resurgence is a cause for concern, expert says

By Brittany Sweeney
August 8, 2022

The polio virus has resurfaced. (Photo | Creative Commons)

SALISBURY TWP, Pa. – A Lehigh Valley doctor is advising people to check their vaccination status after a case of polio resurfaced in New York. The virus hasn’t been seen in the U.S. in decades, and it’s concerning many health experts. 

Some babies may have missed immunizations for polio during the pandemic, according to Dr. Luther Rhodes, an infectious disease specialist at Lehigh Valley Health Network.

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However, most people in the U.S. are vaccinated against the virus, which can be life-threatening and cause paralysis, Rhodes said. 

It can spread fast, he said, if the proper precautions are not taken.  

“The very fact that the World Health Organization is still listed as a condition or disease of high importance, not because there’s so many cases, it’s just that its potential. We don’t want to get caught in the kind of situation we’re seeing right now with monkeypox.”

There is a certain type of polio vaccine that has the potential for people who get it to develop the virus but that shot is not offered in the U.S., Rhodes said.

Adults traveling outside the country can get a booster for the polio vaccine, he added.


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