August 13, 2022

THINGS ARE GOING SWIMMINGLY ON THE PUBLIC HEALTH FRONT: First U.S. polio case in years sparks alarms from New York to California.

The polio patient is a 20-year-old unvaccinated man who traveled to Hungary and Poland earlier this year and was hospitalized in June, the Washington Post reported, citing a public health official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The New York Times reported that the patient is a member of the Orthodox Jewish community.

Genetic analysis of a polio virus sample from the patient indicates that it was picked up from a person who had received the oral polio vaccine, which has not been used in the U.S. since 2000, health officials said.

The oral vaccine contains a weakened live polio virus.

The spread of “wild” virus to unvaccinated people was once considered a feature, rather than a bug, since even people who didn’t get the live-virus vaccine could be “vaccinated” by exposure to people who did. It was, however, controversial at the time.

Meanwhile, of course, the unsatisfactory Covid vaccine experience has probably reinforced vaccine skepticism in general.

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