Children's Hospital Colorado

Re-emergence of Polio and the New Wave of Enterovirus D68 (S6:E6)

In the early 1950s, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the United States. It caused over 15,000 cases of paralysis each year until there was widespread vaccination against poliovirus. Since 1979, we have only seen a few polio cases from international travel and no reported cases originating within the U.S. — until now.

We're also seeing the continued spread of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), one of more than 100 non-polio enteroviruses, which causes respiratory illness and even paralysis in severe cases. So, what's behind the re-emergence of these diseases? Are they related?

Listen to pediatric experts discuss re-emerging infectious diseases

In this episode, Kevin Messacar, MD, joins us to discuss the possible relationships between these two viral diseases and what healthcare providers need to know about diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Messacar works in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Program at Children's Hospital Colorado and is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In this episode, our experts discuss:

  • The historical emergence polio
  • Symptoms, transmission and severe outcomes of polio and EV-D68
  • An overview of the polio outbreak in New York
  • Wastewater surveillance of poliovirus
  • Risks of the oral polio vaccine
  • Theories for the biennial resurgence of EV-D68

Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.

Infectious disease care at Children’s Colorado

The Infectious Disease (ID) Program at Children's Colorado provides a breadth of expertise ranging from laboratory-based research to the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, including neonatal infections, serious infections in children such as pneumonia, meningitis, bone and joint infections, Kawasaki disease, infections in immunocompromised hosts, and pediatric and adolescent HIV infections.