Polio outbreaks incited regular panics decades ago, until a vaccine was developed and the disease was largely eradicated. Then on Friday, New York City health authorities announced that they had found the virus in wastewater samples, suggesting polio was probably circulating in the city again.
Parents of young children found themselves wondering — perhaps for the first time in their lives, and, collectively, for the first time in generations — just how much they should worry about polio.
Anabela Borges, a designer who lives in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, said she had friends whose children probably were not vaccinated. After the announcement on Friday, she said she planned to “make her friends aware.”