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Polio Re-Emerges in New York State

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August 24, 2022

Polio, once a disease of the past for the U.S., has re-emerged due to low vaccination rates and appears to be spreading in New York State. Parents were terrified that their children would be among the tens of thousands every year who became permanently disabled when polio was at its peak in the 1940s and early 1950s.

In July 2022, a person who was unvaccinated in New York State was diagnosed with polio and resulted in paralysis (unable to use) in their legs. Polovirus (polio) has been found in wastewater and suggests that the spread in New York State could have started months ago. No cases of polio have been found in Butler County or Ohio.

Polio vaccines are at least 99% effective at preventing paralysis and work for many years – probably for a lifetime. The bad news is that some communities have seen decreases in the overall number of childhood vaccines, including the polio vaccine.

It’s critical for children to complete their entire four-dose vaccine series. And adults who were never vaccinated should do so to prevent permanent paralysis to themselves as well to help stop spread to others, including to children who are too young to be fully vaccinated.

Polio vaccines are available at our office, by appointment only. Call our Nursing Department at 513-887-5253 to make an appointment.