One person in New York has tested positive for polio, making it the state’s first confirmed case in nearly ten years.
According to state and county health officials, the case was confirmed in a resident of Rockland County, which is about 36 miles north of New York City. This was the first incident in the area since 2013.The patient is no longer thought to be infectious, but they have suffered paralysis, according to the Associated Press (AP). According to the results of tests conducted by the state health department’s laboratory and confirmed by the CDC, the patient had previously received an oral polio vaccination, which can no longer be given to patients in the United States.
Since the year 2000, the only polio vaccinations approved for use in the United States have been inactivated vaccines. These vaccines use germs that have already died from the disease. This could imply that the patient contracted the strain in a region where oral polio vaccinations are still used. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no new cases of polio have been reported in the United States since 1979.
Both the health departments of New York and the CDC strongly encourage those who have not previously received a polio vaccination to do so.
“Vaccines have maintained our health for decades against old and new illnesses,” says Dr. Ashwin Vasan, Commissioner of Health for the City of New York. “The fact is that there has always been an urgent need for both safe and effective vaccines, and we require New York residents to protect themselves against infections that can be avoided entirely, such as polio.”
The number of cases of polio rapidly decreased in the late 1950s and early 1960s following the introduction of the polio vaccine in 1955, owing to a high vaccination rate. According to the World Health Organization, there have been only 175 cases reported worldwide in 2019.
The highly contagious virus can cause debilitating muscle and spine damage and is frequently transmitted orally, through faeces or saliva. This is the most widely used method of transmission. According to the CDC, approximately 72 percent of people will have no visible symptoms, while approximately 25 percent will have flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fever, and exhaustion.
According to the CDC, infected people may experience more serious and potentially fatal symptoms such as paralysis (0.5 percent of cases) or meningitis (4 percent), which is an infection of the spinal column.
According to the New York State Health Department, infected people may not show symptoms for up to a month, during which time the disease can still be spread to others.