State health officials urge unvaccinated Pennsylvanians to get polio vaccine | Five for the Weekend

A case of the virus hasn’t been reported in Pennsylvania in more than 40 years

By: - August 20, 2022 6:30 am

Happy weekend, all. 

With reports of a resurgence of polio in New York, Pennsylvania state officials are encouraging unvaccinated Pennsylvanians to get the vaccine.

Symptoms of the Polio virus are flu-like and include sore throat, fever, nausea and stomach pain. A portion of those who contract the virus develop more serious symptoms such as paralysis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health told the Capital-Star that there are currently no cases of polio in the commonwealth and that a case of the virus hasn’t been reported in Pennsylvania in more than 40 years. 

“The department, however, would like to remind everyone about the importance of staying up to date with vaccinations, including the polio vaccine,” Maggi Barton, a spokesperson for the department said. “For those who have not yet received their polio vaccine, we encourage them to contact their health care provider for more information and to get scheduled.”

Barton said that the vaccines “have proven to be safe and effective to prevent the occurrence of polio.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health “remains alert and works to provide Pennsylvanians access to vaccinations in every corner of the state,” Barton said.

As always, the top five stories from this week are below. 

Police line photo
(Getty Images)

1. Cincinnati FBI attacker grew up on central Pennsylvania farm

The gunman who tried to breach the FBI field office in Cincinnati on Thursday grew up on a farm in Perry County, in central Pennsylvania, The Washington Post reported.

Ricky W. Shiffer fled after he attempted to break into the FBI office’s visitor screening area, the agency said. He led police on a chase that ended in a six-hour stand-off when he stopped on a rural road outside Cincinnati.

Shiffer, 42, was shot and killed by police after he raised a gun, authorities said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Image via the Florida Phoenix)

2. Jewish and Democratic leaders in Florida urge DeSantis to cancel Mastriano rally appearance

Jewish and Democratic leaders in Florida urged Sunshine State Gov. Ron DeSantis to cancel his appearance Friday in Pittsburgh where he is set to campaign for Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor.

In a video call with reporters Thursday, Rabbi Mark Winer, president of the Florida Democratic Party’s Jewish Caucus, said DeSantis’ alliance with Mastriano in Pennsylvania gives comfort and safe harbor to racists and bigots.

DeSantis has been criticized for extremist politics, and what Winer described as “subtle and intelligent kind of bigotry.” DeSantis came under fire earlier this year for not condemning a neo- Nazi demonstration in central Florida. DeSantis is running for reelection in November.

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee John Fetterman (L) and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro (R)
Campaign file photos

3. A lead if they can keep it. Polls put Dems Fetterman, Shapiro on top for now | Mark O’Keefe

John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro have received some good news with last month’s Fox News poll showing them comfortably leading their respective Republican rivals Dr. Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano.

According to the poll, Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s current lieutenant governor, was leading Oz, a celebrity surgeon, 47-36 percent in the nationally watched race for the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, Shapiro, the two-term state attorney general, was topping Mastriano, a state senator from Franklin County, by 50-40 percent in the equally consquential race for governor.

Vaccination can help reduce the risk of monkeypox infection. Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
Vaccination can help reduce the risk of monkeypox infection (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images/The Conversation).

4. How does monkeypox spread? An epidemiologist explains | Analysis

Monkeypox is caused by a virus that, despite periodic outbreaks, is not thought to spread easily from person to person and historically has not spurred long chains of transmission within communities. Now, many researchers are left scratching their heads as to why monkeypox seems to be propagating so readily and unconventionally in the current global outbreak.

The monkeypox virus typically spreads through direct contact with respiratory secretions, such as mucus or saliva, or skin lesions. Skin lesions traditionally appear soon after infection as a rash – small pimples or round papules on the face, hands or genitalia. These lesions may also appear inside the mouth, eyes and other parts of the body that produce mucus. They can last for several weeks and be a source of virus before they are fully healed. Other symptoms usually include fever, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and headache.

Reality TV star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Screen Capture)

5. Fetterman recruits ‘Jersey Shore’ reality star to help troll Dr. Oz

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s online campaign for the U.S. Senate has largely focused on trolling his opponent Mehmet Oz, known best for his TV appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, with social media memes. Now, Fetterman has enlisted another former TV personality to help ridicule the Republican nominee.

And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here next week.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.