First Polio Case In A Decade Diagnosed In New York

Officials are attempting to contract trace the virus to see who else may be at risk.

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Officials are urging parents to get their children vaccinated against polio after a New York resident was diagnosed with the disease. This is the first polio case in the United States since 2013.

The Rockland County, New York resident contracted the polio virus after contact with another infected individual. This specific strain of polio was found to be derived from an oral polio vaccine which uses the active virus. Because the United States has not used this type of vaccine since 2000, it is believed that original carrier received that specific vaccine in another country. That strain of virus can be transmitted through fecal matter.

Officials are attempting to contract trace the virus to see who else may be at risk. The New York resident did not travel out of the United States, leading experts to believe that they contracted polio from another person in the country.

Polio Can Spread Rapidly, Paralyze, Kill

Because symptoms can remain undetected for up to a month, polio has the potential to spread very quickly. Like with COVID-19, an infected person with no symptoms can be very contagious. Polio can lead to paralysis and death, with common symptoms including fatigue, fever, vomiting, muscle pain, and body stiffness.

Officials are sounding the alarm for parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated. Polio vaccine clinics are also being provided in Rockland County to make the vaccination process easier.

It should also be noted that the United States only administers a polio vaccine which contains no active virus. These kinds of polio vaccines cannot cause transmission. So, anyone on the fence about getting their children vaccinated against polio should not hesitate.

Importantly, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett wants people to know that the vaccine is safe.

“The polio vaccine is safe and effective, protecting against this potentially debilitating disease,” she said. “It has been part of the backbone of required, routine childhood immunizations recommended by health officials and public health agencies nationwide.”

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