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Polio is spreading in the United States for the first time in decades. Do you need a reminder?

A specific type of poliovirus has spread in Rockland County, New York, and surrounding areas, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to add the United States to a list of countries (opens in a new tab) where similar polioviruses have been detected. The list includes around 30 countries from Europe, Asia and Africa, such as the UK, Israel, Yemen, Algeria and Niger.

The official addition of the United States to this list was announced last week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (opens in a new tab) (CDC) and the news has raised questions about what happens next. Do people who received all their childhood polio vaccine doses now need a booster? What if you are unsure of your vaccination status or know for sure that you have not received the polio vaccine?

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