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New York reports first case of polio in US in nearly a decade

An unvaccinated young adult from New York recently contracted polio, the first case in the U.S. in nearly a decade, health officials said Thursday. Officials said the patient, who lives in Rockland County, developed paralysis. The person developed symptoms a month ago and has not recently traveled outside the country, county health officials said. It appears the patient had a vaccine-derived strain of the virus, perhaps from someone who made a live vaccine — available in other countries, but not in the U.S. — and spread it, officials said. The person is no longer considered contagious, but investigators are trying to understand how the infection occurred and whether other people may have been exposed to the virus. Most Americans are vaccinated against polio, but unvaccinated people may be at risk, said Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert. Health officials scheduled vaccination clinics nearby for Friday and Monday and encouraged anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get the shots. “We want vaccines in the arms of those who need them,” he said at a news conference Thursday announcing the case. it was once one of the nation’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis — many of them in children. Vaccines became available starting in 1955, and a national vaccination campaign reduced the annual number of cases in the U.S. to less than 100 in the 1960s and less than 10 in the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1979, polio was declared eradicated in the U.S., meaning it no longer normally spread. Rarely, travelers have brought polio infections to the US. The last such case was in 2013, when a 7-month-old who had recently moved to the US from India was diagnosed in San Antonio, Texas, according to federal health officials. This child also had the type of polio found in the live vaccine used in other countries. There are two types of polio vaccines. The US and many other countries use downloads made with a disabled version of the virus. However, some countries where polio has been a more recent threat use an attenuated live virus given to children as mouth drops. In rare cases, the weakened virus can mutate into a form capable of triggering new outbreaks. US children are still routinely vaccinated against polio with the inactivated vaccine. Federal officials recommend four doses: given at 2 months of age; 4 months? at 6 to 18 months; and at 4 to 6 years of age. Some states require only three doses. According to the CDC’s most recent childhood immunization data, about 93% of 2-year-olds had received at least three doses of polio vaccine. Polio is spread mainly 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 in Afghanistan and Pakistan, although many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have also reported cases in recent years. Rockland County, in upstate New York, has been a center of vaccine resistance in recent years. A 2018-2019 measles outbreak infected 312 people there. Last month, health officials in Britain warned parents to make sure children were vaccinated because the polio virus had been found in samples of London sewage. No cases of paralysis were reported.

An unvaccinated young adult from New York recently contracted polio, the first case in the U.S. in nearly a decade, health officials said Thursday.

Officials said the patient, who lives in Rockland County, had developed paralysis. The person developed symptoms a month ago and has not recently traveled outside the country, county health officials said.

It appears the patient had a vaccine-derived strain of the virus, perhaps from someone who took a live vaccine — available in other countries, but not in the U.S. — and spread it, officials said.

The person is no longer considered contagious, but investigators are trying to understand how the infection occurred and whether other people may have been exposed to the virus.

Most Americans are vaccinated against polio, but unvaccinated people may be at risk, said Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Rupert. Health officials scheduled vaccination clinics nearby for Friday and Monday and encouraged anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get the shots.

“We want shots in the arms of those who need them,” he said at a news conference Thursday announcing the case.

Polio was once one of the nation’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis—many of them in children.

Vaccines became available starting in 1955, and a national vaccination campaign reduced the annual number of cases in the U.S. to less than 100 in the 1960s and less than 10 in the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 1979, polio was declared eradicated in the US, meaning it no longer had the usual spread.

Rarely, travelers have brought polio infections into the U.S. The last such case was in 2013, when a 7-month-old who had recently moved to the U.S. from India was diagnosed in San Antonio, Texas, according to federal health officials. This child also had the type of polio found in the live vaccine used in other countries.

There are two types of polio vaccines. The US and many other countries use downloads made with a disabled version of the virus. However, some countries where polio has been a more recent threat use an attenuated live virus given to children as mouth drops. In rare cases, the weakened virus can mutate into a form capable of triggering new outbreaks.

US children are still routinely vaccinated against polio with the inactivated vaccine. Federal officials recommend four doses: given at 2 months of age; 4 months? at 6 to 18 months; and at 4 to 6 years of age. Some states require only three doses.

According to the CDC’s most recent childhood immunization data, about 93% of 2-year-olds had received at least three doses of polio vaccine.

Polio is spread mainly 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 in Afghanistan and Pakistan, although many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have also reported cases in recent years.

Rockland County, in upstate New York, has been a center of vaccine resistance in recent years. A measles outbreak there in 2018-2019 infected 312 people.

Last month, health officials in Britain warned parents to make sure children were vaccinated because the polio virus had been found in samples of London’s sewage. No cases of paralysis were reported.

New York reports first case of polio in US in nearly a decade Source link New York reports first case of polio in US in nearly a decade

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