RICHMOND, Virginia (WWBT) – The Richmond-Henrico Health District said there is little risk of polio spreading here in central Virginia. They have not received new guidance from the CDC on updated vaccination recommendations.
The CDC says it believes polio is endemic in parts of the state after testing wastewater in New York. So far, he is the only confirmed case in New York.
Polio was eradicated from the United States in 1979. The case has raised concern in the health community.
But RHHD wants people to vaccinate their children against the virus. Adults who have not yet been vaccinated should also be vaccinated.
Children should receive their first dose at 2 months of age and their last dose between 4 and 6 years of age. In some circumstances, a fully vaccinated adult may need to get a booster of her polio vaccine, especially if traveling abroad or working in a health facility.
“The idea is that the more people who get vaccinated, the fewer hosts the virus will live in and eventually spread to another person,” explained Kat Long of the Richmond Henrico Health District.
According to health districts, the vaccine is 99-100% effective. They also pointed out that the community spread of eradicated diseases like polio is a warning sign for keeping vaccines.
“This is an example of what can happen if you don’t have enough vaccinations against certain diseases,” says Amy Popovich, who works as a nurse manager at RHHD.
If polio hits central Virginia, local health departments will receive guidance on new measures from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health.
“Hospital systems, clinics and other types of health care providers should alert local and state health departments so that if there is a case of polio in Virginia, it can be detected very quickly.
You can check if you have been vaccinated by checking the Virginia Department of Health Vaccine Database online.
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