Health officials said Thursday that the first case of polio reported in the United States in nearly a decade was detected in New York state.
The state health department said the case is in a Rockland County resident.
State health officials said sequencing identified the newly discovered case as a case of vaccine-derived polio. The oral polio vaccine contains a weakened version of the polio virus that can be excreted in the faeces and transmitted.
Health officials said this vaccine has not been used in the United States since 2000, suggesting that the virus may have originated somewhere outside the United States.
The Rockland County polio patient is a young man whose symptoms began a month ago, according to Rockland County public health officials. The person is no longer contagious but has some paralysis. It is not known if this will be permanent.
A person infected with polio became infected through exposure to a person who had been vaccinated with an oral vaccine. The patient had not traveled outside the country, so the exposure was here, health officials said, who are now investigating whether there was any close contact with the at-risk patient. There are no other suspected cases at this time.
Health officials have urged those who have not been vaccinated and parents of unvaccinated children to seek now to be vaccinated against polio.
“The polio vaccine is safe and effective, protects against this potentially debilitating disease, and has been part of the backbone of the routine immunizations required for children recommended by health officials and public health agencies across the country,” said state health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. a permit.
The Department of Health said Rockland County will host vaccine clinics on Friday and Monday.
The last known case in the United States was recorded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013, which was also an example of vaccine-derived polio. The last “wild” case of polio was discovered in the United States in 1979.
The United States uses the inactivated polio vaccine, which cannot cause infection.
The polio vaccination protects people from vaccine-derived polio and “wild” polio.
Polio is a highly contagious, potentially fatal virus that can spread even when an infected person has no symptoms.
Symptoms, which include fatigue, fever, headache, stiffness, muscle aches, and vomiting, can take up to 30 days to appear. In rare cases, polio can cause paralysis or death.
“Many of you may be too young to remember polio, but when I was growing up, this disease sparked fear in families, including my own,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement. “The fact that it’s still nearly decades after the vaccine was created shows you just how tough it is. Do the right thing for your child and the greater good of your community and vaccinate your child now.”
Sony Salzman and Aaron Katersky of ABC News contributed to this report.