New York Reports First U.S. Polio Case in Nearly a Decade

New York health officials reported on July 21 the first case of polio in the United States in nearly a decade.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Rockland County Department of Health reported that a resident from Rockland County, about 30 miles (48 km north of Manhattan, tested positive for polio.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the case involves a revertant polio Sabin type 2 virus.

“This is indicative of a transmission chain from an individual who received the oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is no longer authorized or administered in the U.S.,” NYSDOH said.

“This suggests that the virus may have originated in a location outside of the U.S. where OPV is administered since revertant strains cannot emerge from inactivated vaccines,” NYSDOH further said.

Health officials urged healthcare providers to be vigilant for additional cases.

Health officials also said that those who are unvaccinated and those who might have been exposed to get the vaccine.

Health officials additionally urged those who are vaccinated but are at risk of exposure to get a booster.

“Many of you may be too young to remember polio, but when I was growing up, this disease struck fear in families, including my own,” County Executive Ed Day said.

“The fact that it is still around decades after the vaccine was created shows you just how relentless it is. Do the right thing for your child and the greater good of your community and have your child vaccinated now,” Day further said.

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