Stop the Madness: New York Confirms First U.S. Polio Case in Nearly a Decade [Video]

A New York man has tested positive for polio, marking the first known U.S. infection in nearly a decade.

via Complex:

The New York State Department of Health say the unnamed patient was unvaccinated and may have contracted the disease from someone who received the oral polio vaccine. According to the New York Times, the OPV contains a weakened poliovirus that produces an immune response. Although it’s still used in other countries, the oral vaccine has not been administered in the U.S. since 2000, as the live virus in the OPV can be shed through those who receive it. The country now exclusively uses an inactivated polio vaccine that is administered as a jab; it contains a non-replicating virus, which means recipients cannot spread the disease to others.

These facts have lead experts to believe the virus may have originated outside the U.S. Officials have not publicly identified the patient, but are trying to determine how he may have contracted polio.

“I want to stress that this individual is no longer contagious,” Ed Day, the Rockland County executive, said in a Thursday news conference. “Our efforts now are focused on two issues: vaccinations and figuring out if anyone else has been impacted by this disease.”

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention say it’s been more than 40 years since polio cases originated in the U.S. The country’s last confirmed case was in 2013, when it was detected in an infant whose family had moved to Texas from India. 

Officials are now urging the public to receive the polio vaccine if they or their children have yet to do so.

“Based on what we know about this case, and polio in general, the Department of Health strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals get vaccinated or boosted with the FDA-approved IPV polio vaccine as soon as possible,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in a press release.”The polio vaccine is safe and effective, protecting against this potentially debilitating disease, and it has been part of the backbone of required, routine childhood immunizations recommended by health officials and public health agencies nationwide.”

We really don’t have time for this. Between COVID-19 and Monkeypox and everything else going on in the world, we’re exhausted. Get your vaccines, people.

Share This Post