The New York State Health Department on July 21 confirmed a polio case and called on health care providers to look for more infections.
The person is infected with a Type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus, which would have come from a type of polio vaccine that's taken orally and isn't used in the United States but is used in many other countries. The United States stopped using the oral vaccine in 2000.
No cases of polio have originated in the United States since 1979, according to the CDC. Health officials in New York said the lone case originated outside the country, and it's the first polio case reported in the state in nine years.
The Health Department statement didn't provide the name, age, or ethnicity of the individual. The agency also didn't say if the person recently traveled outside the country in recent days.
More DetailsHealth officials say polio is highly contagious and an individual can spread the virus even if they're not sick. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, headache, stiffness, muscle pain, and vomiting, and they can appear up to 30 days later. Some cases can result in paralysis or death.
In the statement, local authorities pushed residents to get the polio vaccine if they haven't already received it.
“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."
“With Covid having disrupted immunization (even in the U.S.) and travel now having resumed and much more type 2 poliovirus transmission happening ... it’s been only a matter of time before we’d have some detection of polioviruses in sewage, as happened recently in the U.K, or more tragically, a case,” Thompson told the outlet on July 21. “There’s just a lot more polio going around than there should be.”