Four Children Contract Polio

21 Replies
Jen - October 13

Four Children in Minnesota Contract Polio Oct 13, 07:58 PM EDT By MARTIGA LOHN - Associated Press Writer ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Four children in an Amish community in Minnesota have contracted the polio virus - the first known infections in the U.S. in five years, state health officials said Thursday. Dr. Harry Hull, the state epidemiologist, said the cases do not pose a threat to the general public because most people have been vaccinated against polio and are unlikely to have contact with Amish people. But he said he expects to find more infections within the Amish community because some of its members refuse immunizations on religious grounds. None of the children have shown any symptoms of the paralyzing disease. About one in 200 people who contract the polio virus suffer paralysis because of it; others typically rid themselves the virus after weeks or months. None of the four children had been vaccinated. Three are siblings; the fourth is a baby from another family. The infection came to light when the baby was hospitalized for various health problems and underwent tests. Authorities then began testing other members of the community for the virus. Officials would not identify the Amish community but said it consisted of 100 to 200 people. Hull said the infections were traced to an oral vaccine that was administered in another country, probably within the past three years. The use of oral polio vaccine containing the live virus was stopped in the United States in 2000. The live-virus vaccine caused an average of eight cases of polio a year in the United States. The U.S. and Canada now use an injected vaccine made from the killed virus. State and federal officials are investigating how an infection from a vaccine given in another country reached Minnesota. Stool or saliva from an infected person can transmit the virus. Health officials said they are working with the Amish community to determine who may have been exposed to the virus, and to encourage immunizations. "We have been going house to house, talking with them about the risk, offering the vaccine and attempting to collect specimens to see if the virus has been spreading," Hull said. "Some families have said, `No, thank you, we do not want to interact with you at all.' Other families have said, `Sure, we'll get vaccinated. We'll provide specimens.'" Without the community's cooperation, Hull said, there is a chance of an outbreak similar to one that occurred in 1979 in Amish communities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri and Pennsylvania. Ten people were left paralyzed by the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The last naturally occurring case of polio in the United States was in 1979, and health officials consider the disease eliminated in the Western Hemisphere. It persists in other parts of the world, with the vast majority of cases concentrated in India, Nigeria and Pakistan, according to the World Health Organization. According to the CDC, more than 95 percent of U.S. children are vaccinated against polio by the time they enter school. --- On the Net: Minnesota Department of Health: World Health Organization:


j - October 14

thanks for sharing that.


Fabienne - October 14

This is not the first time I hear that kind of stories....just shows that vaccinations are necessary


scary - October 14

here in idaho where i live, there has been an outbreak of whooping cough....more reason to get your kids vaccinated


L - October 14

I pity both (those who vaccinate and those who don't )


TC-to L - October 15

If you could please explain why you pity both. I know I probably should understand but sometimes I am slow. LOL!!


to TC - October 15

Because your d__ned if you do, and d__ned if don't. The children in the article are sick because they came into contact with someone who was vaccinated for polio.


BBK ® © - October 15

To "to TC": Do you have any reference to backup that claim? How and when? The live vaccine has not been used in ages here in the US?!!


to BBK - October 15

"Hull said the infections were traced to an oral vaccine that was administered in another country" Next time read all of the article. Or if that isn't enough maybe you could phone Dr. Harry Hull, the state epidemiologist who stated that.


to TC - October 15

whooping cough is not a valid vaccination , neither is mumps , or chicken pox , the fatality and complication rate doesn't const_tute the need for it . I see dangers in small pox and german measles but polio is just not necessary although who knows what the future holds for polio .


BBK ® © - October 15

To: "To TC" I simply asked a question you have no call to get snippy. I know well what Hull said. The infections are the same strain that are used in the oral vaccine. The circ_mstances of how it surfaced are under investigation, but in order for someone to contract polio the person has to be sick from it, not simply vaccinated. What you said is a possibility though we don't know for sure anything yet.


to BBK - October 15

I think you misunderstand the part about its orgin is not under investigation. This is true because up until recently (2000) in the US the same oral vaccine was used in the US. When I say the same I mean it has not changed since the 60's sometime. The OPV is great at stopping polio in the wild, so for this reason it is still used in other countries. The person who recieves this oral version of the vaccine CAN spread it to others, in most cases helping them to build an immunity to it WITHOUT that person having to recieve the vaccine. So this is great, for every one person you vaccinate you have the potential to confer immunity to others that that person comes into close contact with. However, sometimes those other person become ill WITH polio instead of becoming immune. Feel free to look some of this stuff up for yourself!


BBK ® © - October 15

I did find some reports that say it was specifically traced. The ones I had read previously just mentioned it as a probability. I stand corrected


Jen - October 16

You're welcome, J. I don't have time to read all responses, but want to clear up the one about getting it from a live oral dose, if it hasn't been already. That was in another country. The US no longer gives live doses so that risk doesn't apply. Had those children been vaccinated they would have been protected.


Chloe - October 16

Hi Jen, I just read the article and all of the posts. According to the article above it was in this country.


TC-to Chloe - October 16

What part in this article made you believe that it happened in this country?


Jen - October 17

The children are in Minnesota, the live vaccine happened in another country. The only thing I'm not clear on is how they came in contact with one another. "Four Children in Minnesota Contract Polio " and "Hull said the infections were traced to an oral vaccine that was administered in another country, probably within the past three years."



You must log in to reply.

Are you New to the forum? Sign Up Here! Already a member? Please login below.

Forgot your password?
Need Help?
New to the forum?

Sign Up Here!

Already a member?
Please login below.

Forgot your password?
Need Help?