A person residing in Rockland County, 30 miles north of Manhattan, has tested positive for the disease, with his case indicating “a chain of transmission from an individual who received oral polio vaccine (OPV)“, according to a press release.
This vaccine has not been used in the United States since 2000, which suggests that the origin of the virus could come from “from a location outside the United States where OPV is administered”detailed the New York health officials.
They asked doctors to watch for possible new cases and urged county residents who are not vaccinated to do so. The last known case of polio in the United States was in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Polio, a highly infectious viral disease that largely affects children under the age of 5, has been virtually eradicated worldwide.
Cases have fallen by 99% since 1988, when polio was still endemic in 125 countries and 350,000 cases were recorded.
Contaminations declined sharply in the late 1950s and early 1960s in the United States, with the development of a vaccine. The last natural infection to have occurred in the territory dates from 1979.
The oral poliomyelitis vaccine can cause contamination in others but not in the vaccinated person.
This type of polio can cause severe illness and paralysis in unvaccinated people.
The World Health Organization warned last month that a vaccine-derived type of poliovirus had been detected in sewage samples from London.