Polio case detected in USA after a decade, linked to recent findings in Jerusalem and London

The First case of polio has been identified in an unvaccinated adult man in New York, Rockland County, officials said.

Polio was declared eliminated in the United States in 1979, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the health authorities have reported a case on 22 July 2022 in Rockland country which is nearly the first case after a decade the US last recorded since 2013.

The last case in 2013 was, when a 7-month-old who had moved recently to the United States from India was diagnosed with polio in Texas.

Rockland County, a northern suburb of New York City is known for past instances of vaccine resistance, also the area was an epicenter of a measles outbreak in 2018-2019 infecting approximately 312 individuals fueled by low vaccination rates among Hasidic Jews communities.

According to the New York state department patient developed paralysis and generalized weakness a month ago and was infected with a type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus, but is no longer contagious.

It is most likely that the person has contracted the disease from someone who had received a type of live polio vaccine administered only in other countries but not the United States, As U.S. stopped using OPV in 2000 and continues to use inactivated polio vaccine (IPV).

Also Read: Polio case reported in Africa after five years is genetically linked to Pakistan

IPV is administered as a shot in the leg or arm which is a non-replicating virus strain so people who receive it cannot spread the virus to others.

U.S. polio case tied to viruses detected in U.K., Israel, suggesting silent spread

Genetic analysis of the virus shows that it is linked to vaccine-derived viruses recently detected in Jerusalem and London, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative announced.

“Further investigations — both genetic and epidemiological — are ongoing to determine possible spread of the virus and potential risk associated with these various isolates detected from different locations around the world,” the program said in a statement.

The analysis indicated the viruses have been circulating for some time, signaling silent spread of vaccine-derived polioviruses over a wide geographic area.

“It basically suggests there’s been substantial transmission, undetected,” Walter Orenstein, a polio expert at Emory University who was not involved in the analysis, told STAT.

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