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NEW YORK (UKTN) – Health officials in New York on Thursday reported a case of polio, the first in the US in nearly a decade.
Officials did not immediately provide details about who the Rockland County resident was, whether the person had been vaccinated or what their current condition was.
State officials said it appeared the person had a vaccine-derived strain of the virus, perhaps from someone who received a live vaccine — available in other countries, but not the US — and spread it.
Polio was once one of the country’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis — many of them in children.
Vaccines became available in 1955, and a nationwide vaccination campaign reduced the annual number of cases to less than 100 in the 1960s and less than 10 in the 1970s, according to the CDC.
In 1979, polio was declared eliminated in the US, meaning there was no longer a routine spread of the virus in the country. Rarely have travelers with polio brought infections to the US, with the last case in 2013.
American children are still routinely vaccinated against polio. Federal officials recommend four doses: to be given at 2 months of age; 4 months; at 6 to 18 months; and at the age of 4 to 6 years. Some states require only three doses.
According to the most recent vaccination data from the CDC, about 93% of 2-year-olds had received at least three doses of polio vaccine.
Polio usually spreads from person to person or through contaminated water. It can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis and possibly permanent disability and death. The disease mainly affects children.
Polio is endemic to Afghanistan and Pakistan, although numerous countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have also reported cases in recent years.
Last month, health officials in Britain warned parents to ensure their children are vaccinated after the polio virus was found in London sewer samples. No cases of paralysis were reported.
The UK Time News Health & Science Department is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The UKTN is solely responsible for all content.
New York reports first US polio case in almost a decade – UK Time News
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