New York Young Adult Diagnosed with Polio in First U.S. Case Since 2013

This 2014 illustration made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts a polio virus particle. On Thursday, July 21, 2022, New York health officials reported a polio case, the first in the U.S. in nearly a decade. (Sarah Poser, Meredith Boyter Newlove/CDC via AP)

A person from Rockland County, New York, has been diagnosed with polio, the first case identified in the United States in nearly a decade.

The unvaccinated young adult began experiencing weakness and paralysis about a month ago, county Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said Thursday.

The case comes nearly a month after the UK Health Security Agency warned that it had detected poliovirus in its surveillance of London sewage samples, indicating that there had been some spread between closely linked individuals in North and East London, although no cases had been identified there.

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Polio is an infection caused by the poliovirus. About 1 in 4 infected people have flu-like symptoms including sore throat, fever, tiredness, nausea, headache and stomach pain. As many as 1 in 200 will develop more serious symptoms that include tingling and numbness in the legs, an infection of the brain or spinal cord, and paralysis, according to the US Centers for the Disease control and Prevention.

There is no cure for polio. Treatment to address symptoms may include medication to relax muscles and heat and physical therapy to stimulate muscles. However, any paralysis caused by polio is permanent.

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SOURCE: CNN, Brenda Goodman

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