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Millennials Scramble to Text Their Moms to Ask If They Got the Polio Vaccine (Too Bad There’s No Cure For the Inability to Adult)

Oh, people. You know that as a grown-ass adult, you have full access to your medical records if you need them, right? All you have to do is contact the clinic you went to, fill out a form, and bam! Instant medical records access. Or you could just text your mom. That’s easier, we guess. And it’s what millions of millennials are doing now that the next big health threat following Covid and Monkeypox is…polio?!

Yes, the disease that plagued The Greatest Generation is now back in circulation, per a report released on New York’s wastewater. (Excrement tells all our secrets, apparently.) It’s really no laughing matter, either; polio can cause paralysis and even death. So if you haven’t been vaccinated, you better add the polio vaccine to your growing list of vaccine to-dos.

How would you know if you got polio? Well, you might not, because the symptoms are surprisingly similar to the other major viruses threatening our mental and physical wellbeing right now. They include fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, and muscle pain. They may be mild, feel like flu, and can take up to 30 days to show up after infection, meaning that by the time you feel sick, you may have shared the illness with others.

If you’re not on texting status with your mom (no judgment) and don’t have a living relative willing to dig up your old vaccination card (trust us, you’d be surprised what parents keep), you can attempt to find your vaccination info on MyChart if you know what hospital you were born in (this would be on your birth certificate, which you have a copy of, right?) and the pediatrician’s office you went to as a kid (we admit this is harder to find out).

If you find out you weren’t vaccinated, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get three shots. The first two need to be one to two months apart followed by a third six to 12 months later.

And just in case your health anxiety went through the roof while reading this article, a top doctor says you can chill. Polio is probably the least of your virus worries.

“We are living in a time where we have seen a pandemic of COVID, followed by a spread of monkeypox, and this has raised our awareness to a different level,” Dr. Waleed Javaid, a hospital epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown, told BuzzFeed News.

He continued: “We all are already worried about why are all these infections coming in our way and what I would say to that is that COVID and monkeypox, we really didn’t have good vaccination plans or processes, but polio, we have successful strategy, successful vaccination that has eradicated for the most part polio in many parts of the world.”

Even after you get your polio vaccination status figured out, maybe text your mom anyway, just because with all these deadly viruses in circulation, none of us know how long we’re going to be here.

Cover Photo: Miljan Živković (Getty Images)