Polio - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-03-2014, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I am newly concerned about polio. I have heard through another mom forum that we should now be worried about polio because it has shown up in other countries. We live in a big tourist area so they were commenting on the fact it could travel to us.


I hate feeling "damned if we do damned if we don't"!

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#2 of 6 Old 01-03-2014, 07:34 PM
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I think it is a valid concern. With the speed of air travel we have lost the natural quarantine that came with slower modes of transport. It is possible that travellers will bring diseases with them that we would not otherwise see in out areas.

The year before last an Australian died, in Australia, from diphtheria which she contracted while travelling in Asia. And, more recently, there was a small cluster of measles cases linked to a person who had travelled from Manila for a dance competition. So it can and does happen.

Individual risk is pretty hard to determine though and will depend on individual health and lifestyle factors.

It is something we take into consideration when making our vaccination decisions.
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#3 of 6 Old 01-03-2014, 10:34 PM
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Polio has always been in other countries. It has never been completely eradicated. Air travel and touristy areas in the U.S. have also existed for a long time, and yet, there hasn't been a single case of someone catching polio in the U.S. since 1979. An exception until 1999 was people who caught polio from the oral polio vaccine, which is no longer given here.


Keep reasonably informed of the news, and you can revisit the vaccination question when the first person in 35 or more years catches polio in the U.S.

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#4 of 6 Old 01-04-2014, 06:47 AM
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I don't worry about it too much.
Yes…it could happen, but the data is on your side.
People have been travelling for years.  We have been a global community for *years*  To the best of my knowledge, this has not caused what I would consider mass outbreaks.  Even if travellers are responsable for every outbreak (hah!) the numbers are still incredibly low.  It is not as if CDC counts stats by "caused by travelling, not caused by travelling."  If CDC shows no cases of dioptheria int he USA, then there were no cases of diptheria in the USA.
So…keep yourself informed, as ma2two suggested.  Keep up to date on numbers, and if something is showing a pattern of increasing you can revisit the decsions. 

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.


Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#5 of 6 Old 01-04-2014, 02:00 PM
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Polio has been an issue in the Syrian civil war recently. It is also still active in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and some African countries. With the speed of travel we have reached in modern times, the possibility of it being spread is very real. Since all these countries (non-industrial) still receive the oral polio vaccine that can lead to even chronic excretion of the vaccine virus. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15135598


With good hygiene practices, I would not worry about catching polio. What is spreading around the globe right now is TB! Cases are increasing and with ineffective medications and antiquated treatments, I would be worrying more catching  TB.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

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#6 of 6 Old 01-06-2014, 08:15 AM
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My grandfather had TB sometime in the 1920's or 30's and lived in a sanitarium for time but lived to tell about it till he passed at almost 80 ;)  Don't know of anyone on the fam ever having polio though and now I have an idea for a spin off post!

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