Polio Vaccine Linked To Outbreak of Infectious Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?

Scientific researchers are now questioning a link between the infectious disease Hand,Foot and Mouth Disease and the Polio Vaccine. According to the CDC the Enterovirus 71 (EV71), a Hand, Foot, Mouth diease-associated serotype that has been linked to more severe disease outcomes (13,14).. The polio vaccine (OPV and IPV) is contaminated with EV71. It, along with EV-D68 and several other enteroviruses and coxsackie viruses that are used in the manufacturing of the polio vaccines which are given to children three times in the first year of life, and again between 4-6 years of life.

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Viruses from the group called enteroviruses cause HFMD. There are many different types in the group including polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses and other enteroviruses. Coxsackievirus A16 is the most common HFMD strain in the US, except Coxsackievirus A6 predominated in 2011-12.  Coxsackievirus A6 causes more severe illnesses, sometimes needing hospitalization.Enterovirus 71 (EV71), a HFMD-associated serotype that has been linked to more severe disease outcomes (13,14) this is what concerned researchers in China.

Researchers discovered that it is the EV71 enterovirus that causes the most serious complications from HFMD. Chinese scientists are studying a possible connection to children vaccinated against Polio and the increased epidemics of hand, foot and mouth disease.


Spread of HFMD

Hand, foot, and mouth is a contagious disease and can easily spread from person to person. The virus spreads through the saliva, nasal discharge, and through the stool. The sick child will be most contagious during the first week and if you’re worried about whether your exposed child is going to get sick, there is a 4-6 day incubation period for the virus. (This means from exposure to a sick person, the child would become sick after the incubation period.)

Children get four doses of IPV, according to the CDC with one dose at each of these ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 through 18 months
  • 4 through 6 years

Some “combination” vaccines (several different vaccines in the same shot) contain IPV, such as Pentacel (DTaP-IPV/Hib), Pediarix (DTaP-IPV-HepB), or Kinrix (DTaP-IPV). 

Chinese researchers are trying to determine if there is a possibility of the vaccinated children spreading the common infectious disease HFMD (hand,foot and mouth disease). 

Immunity after Infection? 

There is only some cross-immunity between different enteroviruses; adults usually have had multiple strains. It is possible to be infected numerous times by various strains. It has also been noted by many adults that infection is more severe in the adult populations. 

Here is the scientific research about the connection between HFMD & Polio for your reference:








More on HFMD from the World Health Organization

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