New York polio case first in US since 2013: NPR


This 2014 illustration made available by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts a polio virus particle. On Thursday, July 21, 2022, New York health officials reported a case of polio, the first in the United States in nearly a decade. (Sarah Poser, Meredith Boyter Newlove/CDC via AP)

CDC’s Sarah Poster and Meredith Boyter Newlove via AP


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CDC’s Sarah Poster and Meredith Boyter Newlove via AP

New York polio case first in US since 2013: NPR

This 2014 illustration made available by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts a polio virus particle. On Thursday, July 21, 2022, New York health officials reported a case of polio, the first in the United States in nearly a decade. (Sarah Poser, Meredith Boyter Newlove/CDC via AP)

CDC’s Sarah Poster and Meredith Boyter Newlove via AP

A case of polio has been detected in New York, the first case of the virus in nearly a decade.

The case was confirmed in a resident of Rockland County, about 36 miles north of New York City, the first case since 2013, according to state and county health departments.

The patient is no longer considered contagious, the AP reports, but has developed paralysis. Tests performed by the state health department laboratory and confirmed by the CDC showed that the patient had previously received an oral polio vaccine, which is no longer given in the United States.

Inactivated vaccines — those that use germs that have died from the disease — are the only polio vaccines licensed in the United States since 2000. This could mean the patient contracted the strain in a country where oral polio vaccines are still given. According to the CDC, no cases of poliomyelitis have appeared in the United States since 1979.

New York City Health Services and the CDC recommend that people who have not been vaccinated against polio get the vaccine.

“Vaccines have protected our health against viruses old and new for decades,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “The fact is, the urgency for safe and effective vaccines has always been there, and we need New Yorkers to protect themselves against completely preventable viruses like polio.”

The polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, and due to a high inoculation rate, cases dropped dramatically in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Only 175 cases were reported worldwide in 2019, according to the World Health Organization.

The highly infectious virus can cause debilitating damage to the spine and muscles and is usually transmitted by mouth, feces or saliva. About 72% of people will have no noticeable symptoms, while about 25% of people will experience flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, fever and fatigue, the CDC said.

In rare cases, infected people experience more severe and life-threatening symptoms, such as paralysis (0.5%) or meningitis (4%), a spinal infection, according to the CDC.

Symptoms can take up to 30 days to appear in infected people and can still spread during that time, the New York State Department of Health said.


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