Wednesday, February 13, 2019

VIDEO: Vaccination Still Needed to Keep Frightful Polio Away

Editor's Note: This video is part of a monthly Texas Medical Association series highlighting contagious diseases that childhood and adult vaccinations can prevent. will post a video about a different disease each month. Some of the diseases featured will include: FluMeaslesPneumococcal diseaseHuman papillomavirus (HPV)Chickenpox and shinglesHepatitis APertussis (whooping cough), Rubella (also known as German measles), and Rotavirus.

TMA designed the series to inform people of the facts about these diseases and to help them understand the benefits of vaccinations to prevent illness. Visit the TMA website to see news releases and more information about these diseases, as well as physicians’ efforts to raise immunization awareness.

In this short video,  William M. Tierney, MD, an Austin internist who serves on the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Council on Science and Public Health, shares how polio has played a role in his life, the history of the disease, and why it's important to stay up-to-date on vaccinations.

Some background: Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a disease that attacks muscles, most notably in the arms, legs, and those used for breathing. Symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, nausea, and even paralysis.

Polio is considered one of the most prominent public health success stories of modern time after the vaccine was widely adopted in 1979 and wiped out the disease in the United States. Before the vaccine was introduced in 1955, it crippled 35,000 Americans every year, and thousands of children died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even though polio cases are not as common anymore, it's still a problem in some Asian and African countries, and people who travel could bring it to the United States again. Doctors say parents need to stay vigilant about vaccinating their kids so it doesn't return to the U.S.

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