The first polio case reported in the United States in nearly a decade has been detected in New York state, health officials said Thursday.
The case involves a Rockland County resident, the state health department said.
State health officials said sequencing determined the newly detected case to be a case of vaccine-derived polio. The oral polio vaccine contains a weakened version of the polio virus that can be passed in the stool and transmitted.
This vaccine has not been administered in the United States since 2000, suggesting the virus may have originated somewhere outside the United States, health officials said.
The Rockland County polio patient is a young adult whose symptoms began a month ago, according to Rockland County public health officials. The person is no longer contagious but has suffered from a certain paralysis. It is not known if this will be permanent.
The infected person contracted poliomyelitis through exposure to a person who was inoculated with the oral vaccine. The patient did not travel outside the country, so the exposure was here, said health officials, who are now investigating whether there are any close contacts of the patient who are at risk. There are no other suspected cases at this time.
Health officials have urged unvaccinated people and parents of unvaccinated children to get the polio shot now.
“The polio vaccine is safe and effective, protecting against this potentially debilitating disease, and it is part of the backbone of required routine childhood immunizations recommended by health officials and public health agencies nationwide. nationwide,” said state health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. A declaration.
Rockland County will host vaccination clinics Friday and Monday, the health department said.
The last known case in the United States was recorded by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013, which was also a case of vaccine-derived polio. The last “wild” case of poliomyelitis was detected in the United States in 1979.
The United States uses inactivated polio vaccine, which cannot cause infection.
Being vaccinated against poliomyelitis protects people against vaccine-derived poliomyelitis and “wild” poliomyelitis.
Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious, potentially deadly 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, poliomyelitis can cause paralysis or death.
“Many of you may be too young to remember polio, but when I was growing up this disease struck fear into families, including mine,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day, in a statement. “The fact that it’s still about decades after the vaccine was created shows you how relentless it is. Do the right thing for your child and the greater good of your community and get your child vaccinated now.”
Sony Salzman and Aaron Katersky of ABC News contributed to this report.