Polio Warning: Letting it Come Back?

Although polio was deemed “eradicated” in our country in the 1970s after a long stretch of paralyzing, deadly epidemic, is it being allowed to come back? Full disclosure: I had polio during the epidemic, at age 3, and, because of the shortage of iron lungs, was not able to get one because it would be wasted on a child who was expected to die. I grew up with it and still live with its late effects. I adapted and am okay with it and the equipment that maintains most of my independence. But I’ll never accept what my parents went through, with me with polio shortly after the death of my younger brother, possibly from undiagnosed polio.

Last month, an adult in New York contracted polio. They’re not sure how he got it. Not everyone with the polio virus shows signs of the disease–they didn’t know the signs with my younger brother and my older brother showed no signs but was diagnosed as an adult as having had polio as a child. So, the man in New York could have gotten it from someone he came in contact with. That’s what’s so scary.

He had NOT been vaccinated against it. He’s not alone in that. According to the CDC, nationally the vaccination against polio is 92.6%. But in two counties in New York, that rate is 58.68% and 60.34%. Why? The medical community attributes the dropping rate to the anti-vaccination movement. Most of these people haven’t lived through the polio epidemic and have escaped loss of life through Covid. Otherwise, they’d understand the miracle that vaccines are and would be promoting them rather than working against them.

Trust me. Polio is not on a par with, say, a cold, and it’s still present among us. PLEASE use whatever influence you have to be sure all your friends, family, and children in your life are vaccinated before we find ourselves in another polio epidemic!~

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