A man who lives in Rockland County was infected by someone who received the oral polio vaccine, which is no longer used in the United States, officials said.
via STESS News
New York, USA (JC) | A case of polio has been identified in an unvaccinated adult man in Rockland County, officials said.
The New York State Department of Health and its Rockland County counterpart confirmed that the infection was transmitted from someone who received the oral polio vaccine, which has not been administered in the United States since 2000. Officials said in a news release that the virus may have originated outside the United States, where the oral vaccine is still administered.
“I want to stress that this individual is no longer contagious,” said Ed Day, the Rockland County executive, in a news conference Thursday afternoon. “Our efforts now are focused on two issues: vaccinations and figuring out if anyone else has been impacted by this disease.”
Those who are unvaccinated or haven’t completed their vaccination series should get vaccinated, officials said. The current polio case presents a very low risk to those who are already vaccinated against polio: Those who have had all three shots have close to 100 percent protection.
The person’s symptoms began about a month ago, said Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County’s health commissioner, at the news conference. The patient presented with “weakness and paralysis,” she said, and the department was notified on Monday about the confirmed case.
“We are now surveying the family and close contacts of this individual to assess the risk to the community,” Dr. Ruppert said. She did not share any additional information about the patient’s current state of health or prognosis.
Although the health officials did not reveal the gender of the patient, local elected officials said he is a man from the Orthodox Jewish community. In 2018 and 2019, there was a measles outbreak in Rockland County concentrated among ultra-Orthodox Jewish people, whose vaccination rates have tended to be lower than the broader population. In that outbreak, more than 150 people were infected with the measles.