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A leading Connecticut pediatrician on the threat posed by COVID, polio and monkeypox as the school year starts

Students arrive for the first day of in-person learning for five days per week at Stark Elementary School on March 10, 2021 in Stamford, Connecticut.
John Moore / Getty Images
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Students arrive for the first day of in-person learning for five days per week at Stark Elementary School on March 10, 2021, in Stamford, Connecticut.

As of Aug. 25, the Connecticut Department of Public Health said the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 10.6%. So as a new school year begins, COVID still does not appear to be behind us.

Aside from that worry, the monkeypox virus is now a concern in America.

There are even reports of polio making an unwelcome comeback in New York.

To give parents and students guidance on how to navigate this viral minefield, UConn Health's Dr. Jody Terranova joined “All Things Considered.” She is the president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Connecticut chapter.

If a child tests positive for COVID, what should they do this school year? Should they stay away from school and from sports? If so, for how long? How prevalent are occurrences of long COVID?

Terranova answered all of these questions.

She also discussed how concerned people should be about monkeypox in schools and about diseases previously believed to be all but eradicated.

State data shows that vaccination rates for other diseases like tetanus, whooping cough and polio dropped in kindergartners and seventh graders from a high of around 97% in 2013 to around 95% in the 2020-21 school year.

Terranova urged parents to get their kids all of their vaccinations as school gets underway.

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. He's proud to be a part of the team that won a regional Emmy Award for The Vote: A Connecticut Conversation. In his 21st year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.

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