Covid, Monkeypox? Guess again

The possible Polio outbreak and the effects it could have


Photo by Flickr licensed under Creative Commons

Hannah Romero, Staff writer

What is Polio and when did it first originate?

One of the most deadly and infectious diseases to ever hit the U.S, Polio may be back. Though it was thought to have been eradicated around forty years ago in the United States, an unvaccinated person in Rockland County, New York was found to have a case of the virus in June of this year. Polio previously originated in the United States in the year 1894. Even then, it  was considered extremely contagious, especially after becoming an epidemic.


Ways you can prevent the effects of Polio

There are various ways to help in preventing Polio from spreading. Getting vaccinated against these viruses is strongly recommended to stop them from being contracted and from being spread. Even if you are not immunocompromised, it is still considered a good choice by medical officials, such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), to take the initiative to get vaccinated. According to data on the CDC’s website about the effectiveness of the Polio vaccine, two doses of the vaccine have around a 90% effectiveness rate against Polio. That being said, it is also shown that getting three doses of the paralytic Polio vaccine has around a 99% to 100% effectiveness rate. This can majorly help in preventing people from getting very sick from Polio, and it helps prevent long term ailments, such as paralysis. Symptoms vary, as with every virus, but some common symptoms include headaches, fever, fatigue, vomiting, and others. Becoming paralyzed is not the only long term effect that polio can have on anyone that contracts it. Even if someone is diagnosed with Polio and does not become completely paralyzed, they could still suffer from long term fatigue and muscle weakness. 


How this could impact schools, including Oakton

With Polio possibly spreading in the (near) future, another shutdown could happen. That could mean that schools would resort back to virtual learning. With our school now being in this in-person learning environment, a new spread of Polio could damage the slow progress the western world has made going forward. As previously stated, in this possible Polio outbreak, vaccination is seen by many as a visible option in stopping the spread. Another thing is that Polio is spread through food and water, so it is important to make sure that what you are ingesting hasn’t been contaminated. It’s still uncertain as to what could happen next with this possible surge of Polio.