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Polio discovery in New York raises concerns for local parents

Concern over polio grows after New York health officials discover virus in wastewater
Concern over polio grows after New York health officials discover virus in wastewater 02:28

After New York state health officials announced on Friday that it has discovered traces of the polio virus in wastewater, parents across the nation have another thing to be concerned about. 

New York health officials said it's possible that hundreds of people likely have been infected with the virus. 

As a result, parents like Amber Morlan took her child to get a vaccine for the virus on Friday at a clinic in Ladera Ranch. 

Keeping her son's childhood vaccines up to date is a priority for her.

"Things that were eradicated and are coming back and it's very scary," Morlan said. 

Morlan said that her great aunt contracted polio during the 1940s. 

One of the devastating effects that can result from the virus is polio paralysis. 

For patients who suffered from that back in the 1940s, they had to learn how to walk again. 

Former president Franklin D. Roosevelt was permanently paralyzed after he contracted polio. There is no cure for polio. Doctors said the best way to prevent it is by getting the vaccine. 

"Yes, everyone should be vaccinated and anyone who is not sure of their vaccination status should check," Orange County pediatrician Dr. Kate Williamson said.

Kids typically get their first dose at 2 months old and three subsequent polio vaccines through age 4. The disease was eradicated in the United States in 1979. 

"It will be so easy for the polio virus that we're seeing in New York to be in California. One person can get on a plane, be infected and not even know they're infected or have any symptoms and then be around many people in California before we identify that polio is now here," Williamson said.

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