Four children in an Amish community in Minnesota have contracted the polio virus - the first known infections in the US in five years, state health officials said Thursday.
Dr. Harry Hull, the state epidemiologist, said the cases do not pose a threat to the general public because most people have been vaccinated against polio and are unlikely to have contact with Amish people. But he said he expects to find more infections within the Amish community because some of its members refuse immunizations on religious grounds.
None of the children have shown any symptoms of the paralyzing disease. About one in 200 people who contract the polio virus suffer paralysis because of it; others typically rid themselves the virus after weeks or months.
None of the four children had been vaccinated. Three are siblings; the fourth is a baby from another family.