The Coxsackie virus has been in the news a lot, and caused a recent stir in Central New York when a Rome mom ranted on Facebook about keeping sick children home and away from school. The history of the virus is based in New York State.

Coxsackie can strike the heart, pleura, pancreas, and liver, and is known for causing pleurodynia, myocarditis, pericarditis, meningitis, hepatitis and other health issues. It is usually communicated via the fecal-oral route.

The connection of the name of the virus to New York is due to the doctor who discovered the strain. Dr. Gilbert Dalldorf, was working at the New York State Department of Health in Albany in the late 1940s.

During his research, he discovered a family of viruses that was eventually given the name Coxsackie, from the small town of the same name on the Hudson River, south of the Capital District, where Dalldorf had obtained the first fecal specimens used in his studies.

So, a little town with a population under 10,000 is famous for a virus, and also for the surrounding hamlets of Surprise and Climax. Which Central New York towns should have viruses or animals named after them?


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