Polio in the USA

Well I really did not want this day to come, but for years I have been telling all my unvaccinated patients that we would see Polio in this country again and now is that time. The last case of Polio was a decade ago in a 6mo baby in Texas who had traveled from India. However, this case was an unvaccinated young adult in New York State who did not travel anywhere and came down with the form of Polio caused by the oral Polio vaccine which is not used in this country since 2000. I truly hope this is an isolated case. This young man will never be the same because he has the paralytic type, and he may not even survive this. There is only 1 iron lung machine that is still in use from years gone by in the days where they had Polio seasons and everyone had to hide their children away.

For most people like Covid it will be a benign event. People can carry Polio without any symptoms and still transmit it just like Covid. For others it will be a life changing event or even death! In London they were warning everyone recently that they were seeing Polio in the sewage water, and urging everyone who was not vaccinated to get vaccinated. The Polio vaccine is a benign, safe vaccine created by to prevent such a horrific disease which mainly affects infants and young children!

The symptoms of Polio are just like Covid or Flu. The symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, stiffness, muscle pain. The symptoms can take up to 30 days to appear, but during this time they are shedding virus to others. We have yet to see how many more cases will evolve from the New York State case. This virus is transmitted through the mouth by hands contaminated with fecal material, respiratory, and oral to oral transmission.

Anyone who knows me knows I respect parental decisions. I am not here to fear monger but to provide medical advice to my patients. We will see where the cases of Polio go. Maybe we will see more, maybe we wont. If your children are not vaccinated you will need to follow the Polio trail closely! I can only advise to be vaccinated, after that it is your choice as a parent to make the final decision. I will always respect parental choice even if I am not in agreement with it!

So with that being said, enjoy your summer. We are still closed on Fridays and will remain closed on Fridays through October. Thank you very much for your understanding that as a solo practitioner with only 2 staff members, a 3 day weekend is important for my staff and myself to optimally take care of our patients and not burn out! We are available Monday through Thursday, so please call and we will be happy to take care of you as needed!

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