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Omaha health experts advise local residents to get vaccinated against polio

OMAHA, Nebraska – Since the 1980s, polio has largely disappeared from the news. With the confirmation of a case in New York, the disease is once again a big topic.

Many people are now inquiring whether they received the polio vaccine as a child and whether they remain protected.

Dr. David Quimby of CHI Health/Creighton University is shocked to be discussing the condition, as it was thought to have been eradicated in the United States in 1979.

After a verified incidence of polio in an unprotected individual in Rockland County, New York, and the discovery of the virus in wastewater in at least four New York counties, Dr. Quimby joins doctors across the country in warning of a possible recurrence.

Currently, according to Quimby, polio is likely confined to a small area and is not considered a widespread threat in Nebraska.

Quimby stated, “Instead of an outbreak, it is more plausible that a single person would carry the disease in from a different region.”

According to doctors, this could alter, particularly in regions with poor immunization rates.

“Even though Nebraska is performing better than other sections of the country, we have slipped a bit. We’re still fairly excellent, but we’ve lost some ground, and we don’t want this to continue.”

Doctors would seek to reverse the trend.

According to Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan of CHI Health/Creighton University, “all of these immunizations have been protecting us and our children.”

While there is no federal legislation mandating vaccines, every state has laws mandating immunizations for most schools and daycares.

The majority of individuals in the United States were presumably immunized against polio as children and remain protected. Doctors advise those who have not been immunized to roll up their sleeves.

According to the CDC, all newborns and children in the United States should receive four doses.

Adults who cannot recall if they were immunized should receive vaccinations. Boosters are typically not suggested, however they may be administered to vaccinated adults who are going to countries where an outbreak is occurring and to residents of regions with poor immunization rates.

According to doctors, side symptoms are uncommon and include discomfort and exhaustion.

Quimby stated, “This is one of the safest vaccinations available, and it has decades of experience.”

New York has expanded its polio guidelines to cover workers in the health care and wastewater industries.

Recommendations for the general population have not yet been modified by the CDC.

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