For Your Awareness: Polio & Monkeypox
In July, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) became aware of a case of polio in an unvaccinated individual from Rockland County, New York. Public health experts are working to understand how and where the individual was infected and provide protective measures, such as vaccination services to the community to prevent the spread of polio to under- and unvaccinated individuals.
Polio used to be common in the United States. Before the polio vaccine, the disease killed thousands of people and paralyzed about 15,000 each year. Thanks to the polio vaccine, we’ve come close to ending polio, but it continues to threaten communities in parts of the globe.
There is no cure for polio, but it is preventable through safe and effective vaccination. Poliovirus infections still occur in some countries. Get your child vaccinated on schedule to protect them from polio.
People most at risk for infection are:
- Those who never had polio vaccine
- Those who never received all the recommended vaccine doses
- Those traveling to areas that could put them at risk for getting polio
If you think you have been exposed to polio or are unsure of your immunization history, contact your healthcare provider. Blue KC covers the cost of the polio vaccine.
In August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) over the monkeypox outbreak.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox. If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
Because the vaccine is only available through local health departments, Blue KC is not involved with any costs related to the vaccine (the government provides the vaccines at no cost). If you are interested in getting a vaccine or getting tested for monkeypox, call your local health department or your healthcare provider to see if you’re eligible.
To learn more about polio signs and symptoms, how it spreads, how to prevent it, diagnosis, and treatment, visit: www.cdc.gov/polio/what-is-polio/index.htm.
To learn about the polio vaccine, visit: www.hhs.gov/immunization/diseases/polio/index.html.
To learn more about monkeypox signs and symptoms, how it spreads, prevention, what to do if you are sick, and treatment, visit: www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/about.html.
To learn about monkeypox vaccines, visit: www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/vaccines.html.