NewsletterSkip to table of contents
By Tribeca Pediatrics, August 15, 2022
We understand the concern from parents in, and around New York City, regarding recent reports of the poliovirus found in wastewater samples. Here, we answer some of the questions that we’ve received from parents, to help you stay informed.
Polio has long been considered an eradicated disease in the United States. Although cases have continued to appear around the world with some level of regularity, the virus has been kept under control through vaccination.
The inactivated poliovirus vaccine, or IPV, is the only polio vaccine that has been used in the U.S. since 2000. IPV is injected, and uses an inactivated version of the virus. The IPV vaccine is safe, and is effective against eliminating the risk of transmission.
Why is everyone talking about Polio now?
In July, one case of polio was reported in an unvaccinated adult in Rockland county. This prompted an investigation by health officials, which confirmed the presence of poliovirus in 20 wastewater samples across Rockland and Orange Counties. To date, there has only been one identified case, and risk of transmission to fully-vaccinated individuals remains extremely low.
How is Polio transmitted?
- Polio is transmitted through fecal oral transmission, from an infected person’s stool.
Fecal oral transmission occurs most commonly in places where there is poor sanitation or substandard hygiene practices.
- Transmission can occur from:
- Improper hand hygiene, especially after using the bathroom.
- Contact with infected individual’s feces, and touching your mouth.
- Contact with objects like toys, that are contaminated with an infected person’s feces.
- Polio is very contagious, but transmission among fully-vaccinated individuals is extremely rare.
- Poliovirus is very rarely transmitted through respiratory droplets.
What are the symptoms of Polio?
- Around 70% of poliovirus cases are asymptomatic.
- About 1 out of 4 people with poliovirus will have flu-like symptoms such as, fever, nausea, fatigue, headache, and sore throat. These symptoms usually last 2-5 days, and resolve on their own.
- About 1-5 out of 100 people with poliovirus can develop neurological complications such as meningitis, which is an infection of the spinal cord and/or brain.
- Paralysis or weakness in the arms and/or legs is rare, but can happen in outbreaks.
What are the risks?
- Unvaccinated or under-vaccinated individuals, especially those living in areas with higher rates of transmission, could face an extra level of risk in developing the above symptoms.
- Fully-vaccinated individuals face very little risk in carrying or transmitting poliovirus.
How much protection does the vaccine provide?
- IPV is extremely effective.
- Primary series for children: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and a booster at 4 years.
- After 2 doses: 95% effective
- After 3rd dose: upwards of 99% effective
- After Booster at 4 years: continues lifelong immunity
- The CDC is not recommending that children get vaccinated outside of the regular schedule, or receive additional vaccine doses.
How can my unvaccinated child catch up with vaccines?
- Anyone unvaccinated should talk to their provider to put together an appropriate vaccine catch-up schedule.
How do I keep my family safe?
- Make sure your child is vaccinated at the recommended intervals.
- Everyone in young children’s circle should be fully vaccinated.
- Practice proper hand-washing.
- This involves lathering hands and fingers with soap and warm water for 30 seconds after using the bathroom at home or in any public space.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill poliovirus, and are not effective against transmission.
Check your child’s vaccination status on the patient portal.
Ticks and Lyme with Dr. Jessica GeorgeMay 11, 2023
Allergies, Cold, Flu, or COVID? with Dr. Jessica GeorgeApril 13, 2023
Educational and Entertaining YouTube Channels for KidsMarch 9, 2023
EczemaFebruary 9, 2023
Calm KidsJanuary 12, 2023
Calling All Santa’s Helpers!December 8, 2022
RSV FAQNovember 3, 2022
Family Fun in NYC – Fall Activities for KidsOctober 13, 2022
Flu ShotsSeptember 8, 2022
Polio FAQAugust 15, 2022
Tips to Manage Back-to-School AnxietyAugust 10, 2022
Free Summer Activities for Kids in NYCJuly 14, 2022
Talking with Your Kids about Gender: In Conversation with Jodie PattersonJune 9, 2022
A Message on the Infant Formula ShortageMay 16, 2022
Seasonal AllergiesMay 12, 2022
Spring Break ActivitiesApril 14, 2022
Nightmares and Night TerrorsMarch 10, 2022
Vitamins and SupplementsFebruary 9, 2022
COVID 2022: Q&A with Pediatric Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Jason PerlmanJanuary 19, 2022
Your Guide to a Toyless Holiday SeasonDecember 8, 2021
Pediatric COVID Vaccine Approved for Ages 5-11November 3, 2021
FAQs on Cold and Flu Season During the PandemicOctober 14, 2021
Flu ShotsSeptember 8, 2021
Back-to-School During COVID: What to ExpectAugust 11, 2021
Summer Reading 2021June 30, 2021
Q&A on Ticks and Lyme DiseaseJune 4, 2021
COVID Vaccine UpdateMay 11, 2021
Just for Laughs!May 7, 2021
COVID Vaccine FAQApril 6, 2021
Guilt-Free Ways to Keep Your Toddler EntertainedMarch 9, 2021
Points to Consider – Recent Report on Heavy Metals in Baby FoodFebruary 9, 2021
COVID-19 VaccineFebruary 4, 2021
Establishing Discipline and BoundariesJanuary 13, 2021
Mental Health During the PandemicDecember 10, 2020
Let Them FightNovember 9, 2020
Approaching the Flu Season During the PandemicOctober 16, 2020
Flu ShotsSeptember 11, 2020
Daycare During the PandemicAugust 4, 2020
Summer Reading ListJuly 2, 2020
Talking to Your Kids About RacismJune 4, 2020
We Stand in SolidarityJune 4, 2020
COVID-19 Antibody Testing in KidsJune 2, 2020
Potty TrainingMay 21, 2020
COVID-19 Antibody TestingMay 19, 2020
FAQs on Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock SyndromeMay 12, 2020
COVID and Kawasaki VirusMay 8, 2020
Virtual VisitsMay 5, 2020
Practice Updates on COVID-19April 29, 2020
Making the Best of Being Stuck at HomeApril 13, 2020
Ibuprofen Use During COVID-19March 31, 2020
COVID-19 and Supporting Your Child’s Mental HealthMarch 30, 2020
Good News Concerning COVID-19 in KidsMarch 25, 2020
COVID-19 Practice UpdateMarch 23, 2020
COVID-19 FAQ From The PracticeMarch 13, 2020
Letting Kids Entertain ThemselvesMarch 12, 2020
Dr. Michel Cohen’s COVID-19 UpdateFebruary 26, 2020
Picky EaterJanuary 9, 2020
Dr. Jason Perlman on Flu Testing and TreatmentDecember 11, 2019
EczemaNovember 6, 2019
Sibling RivalryOctober 10, 2019
Resisting Toilet TrainingAugust 22, 2019
There is Such a Thing as Good Screen TimeJuly 11, 2019
Fever: When to Worry & When Not to WorryJune 12, 2019
Take a Walk with Your KidsMay 9, 2019
Measles UpdateApril 10, 2019
Your Child’s Persistent CoughFebruary 6, 2019
The Best Games for Family Game NightDecember 20, 2018
Why it’s Okay to Say “No” Even During The HolidaysDecember 5, 2018
Camp Brooklyn Fund Honors Dr. Michel CohenNovember 5, 2018
Having the #MeToo Conversation With Your ChildrenOctober 10, 2018
CoxsackieSeptember 13, 2018
School Anxiety; An Excerpt from Dr. Cohen’s “The New Basics”August 23, 2018
Flying with Your BabyJuly 12, 2018
Q & A with Dr. Cohen on Temper TantrumsMay 10, 2018
Six Things to Know About the Stomach BugFebruary 27, 2018
Dr. Michel Cohen Debunks Cold TreatmentsDecember 5, 2017
Flu SeasonSeptember 7, 2017
ShoestringAugust 16, 2017
Sunscreen and Bug Spray Q & AJuly 13, 2017
Summer Time, Ticks and LymeJune 13, 2017
Springing into Allergy SeasonMay 16, 2017
Standardized StressApril 13, 2017
Embracing the NewMarch 14, 2017
Your Little Thumb SuckerFebruary 14, 2017
Let Them Eat PeanutsJanuary 12, 2017
Happy Holidays! No Hugs Just YetDecember 15, 2016
Car Seats and Public TransportationNovember 10, 2016
Flu ShotsSeptember 14, 2016
Back to School BluesAugust 9, 2016
Kids, Germs, and ImmunityJuly 14, 2016
Summer Health in the Summer HeatJuly 7, 2016
Toddlers and TicsJune 6, 2016
Ear FearsJune 2, 2016
Circumcision Decision, Penis Maintenance, and…Circumcision RevisionMay 10, 2016
Allergy SeasonMay 5, 2016
Let’s Get PhysicalApril 14, 2016
BEDTIME RITUALSFebruary 29, 2016
HEALTHY DISCIPLINEFebruary 2, 2016
For Your Anti Antibiotic ConsiderationJanuary 8, 2016