Polio case confirmed in Rockland County

New York state health officials announced Thursday that the first known case of polio in the United States since 2013 has been confirmed in a resident of Rockland County.

State and county health officials are advising doctors and health care providers to watch for additional cases.

Tests by state health officials have suggested the polio case may have originated outside the United States.

The polio vaccine is a standard part of the childhood immunization schedule, and people vaccinated against polio are less at risk of contracting the disease. But people who aren’t vaccinated or haven’t completed the series of vaccinations, especially pregnant women, are at higher risk, health officials said.

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

Rockland County will host a polio vaccination clinic beginning Friday, July 22 at 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona from 10 a.m. to noon. A second clinic at the same location will take place on Monday, July 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Many of you may be too young to remember polio, but when I was growing up this disease struck fear into families, including mine,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “The fact that there are still decades after the creation of the vaccine shows you how relentless it is. Do the right thing for your child and the greater good of your community and get your child immunized now.

The poliomyelitis vaccine was introduced in 1955 and following a national vaccination program, the number of cases was drastically reduced. The last natural cases of polio in the United States date back to 1979. The last known case of polio was recorded in this country nine years ago.

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