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HomeHealthPolio is back but who's at risk?

Polio is back but who’s at risk?

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IN A NUTSHELL

Hi, and welcome to the brand new Wellness Wire! We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring you this fancy makeover, and we’re *so* excited to finally share it with you after all this time.

Today we’re covering:

•    polio circulating in New York

•    delicious treats for better sleep

•    blueberries and longevity

•    other health stories you need

Be well,

Morgan Mandriota

Newsletter Editor, Healthline

WHAT’S GOT US BUZZING

Polio is back, but who is at risk?

The plot twist we didn’t expect this year: Poliovirus being found in wastewater samples after almost a decade of being MIA. (Reminder: poliovirus spreads through saliva or fecal matter and causes polio, a disease that can lead to paralysis in the arms and legs, or even death.)

State and local health officials originally believed it was contained to the New York City area, but new information revealed water samples in Orange County, NY and London also tested positive for the virus. A case of paralytic polio was also identified in an unvaccinated man in Rockland County in July. Officials note there could be hundreds of unaccounted for cases circulating among the unvaccinated, too.

So, what now? Polio *does* spread easily, but look on the bright side: The WHO says that 90 percent of folks with polio will experience mild to no symptoms. However, health officials recommend getting vaccinated as the best way to prevent contracting and spreading the disease (infants as young as six weeks are eligible!).

If you got your vaccine as a kid, experts say you’re still protected. If you have an increased risk of being exposed to the virus (aka hospital workers, lab researchers, care givers, etc.), the CDC says you’re eligible for a booster. Aside from that, you can reduce your risk by washing your hands and avoiding travel to areas with confirmed cases.

Tl;dr — Like Kate Bush’s return from obscurity, Polio is back and circulating among the unvaccinated. We haven’t reached crisis levels yet, but if you’re unvaxxed, you’re at risk. Make those doc appointments and get your vaccine ASAP! (Or text your parents to ask if you got yours as a kid.)

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