A person in New York has tested positive for polio, a deadly and contagious viral disease that causes muscle weakness and paralysis, state officials said Thursday.
The New York State Department of Health and Rockland County Department of Health issued a public alert about the case and advised medical professionals and health care providers to be on the lookout for additional cases. Rockland County is about 30 miles north of Manhattan, neighboring Westchester and Orange Counties in the lower Hudson Valley region of New York.
Polio is an infectious viral disease that has mostly been eradicated in the United States thanks to a vaccine developed more than six decades ago. The vaccine is included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s standard child immunization schedule and is a required immunization for children attending school. The last naturally occurring case of polio in the U.S. was recorded in 1979. More recent cases “were not wild strains,” and the last known case recorded in the U.S. by the CDC was in 2013.
The state health department said vaccinated individuals are at lower risk of infection and strongly urged anyone who is unvaccinated or has not completed their vaccination schedule to do so promptly. They also said anyone at risk of exposure to the virus should receive a booster shot.