For more than a decade, the Western Hemisphere (including the US) has been officially declared polio free. This wonderful freedom from the risk of catching polio is now in danger.

In a recent New York Times article, a quite disturbing outbreak of polio has been documented across much of Africa.

Not too long ago, polio was happening in only one country in Africa, Nigeria. Suspicions on the part of some African Islamic leaders led to a drop in the use of polio immunization, and now polio is raging across a broad swath of the continent.

My concern is that one day a person infected with live polio virus will travel from Africa to somewhere in the United States.

With the rise in the number of infants not immunized against polio, the chance that someone might catch this virus here in the US is once again imminent.

So please, if you have decided to not immunize your child for polio, give that decision a fresh look. The US was once polio free, but may not be for long.

Unimmunized children can get the full polio illness, including paralysis, even here in Ohio.

Please call us if you have any questions, we would be glad to discuss.

Dr. Lavin
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