Local Doctor Says Polio Return a Concern

– a contagious and preventable childhood disease – thought to be on the verge of eradication, is making headlines again overseas. While there are no cases here, that could change said one local pediatrician. The World Health Organization recently declared a global health emergency because of polio outbreaks across 10 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Polio is a contagious, viral illness that usually affects children under age 5. In its most severe form, polio causes paralysis, difficulty breathing and even death. The disease was largely eliminated from the Western hemisphere following the introduction of a vaccine in 1955. Most people should get the polio vaccine when they are children. Children should receive four doses of the polio vaccine the first at 2 months, then 4 months, 6-18 month, and a booster at 4-6 years.

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