The polio virus struck fear in the hearts of many parents, and due to vaccination efforts, the virus was successfully eliminated in North and South America in 1994, until an unvaccinated New York adult contracted the virus recently. Jonas Salk, Thomas Francis, Jr., and their colleagues announced the development of a safe and effective vaccine in 1955 that would block the virus’ most devastating effects, but discovering traces of the virus in the wastewater in the area of the infected person has people concerned. Adam Lauring, M.D., Ph.D., an infectious disease specialist and a professor of microbiology & immunology and internal medicine at the University of Michigan, explains why it is still essential to be vaccinated against the poliovirus and if this recent case is of any concern.
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