NY sees its first case of Polio in almost a decade, officials fear it has spread

A largely unvaccinated county in New York has seen its first case of Polio in a decade. Rockland County has a miserable 60.5% vaccination rate among 2-year-olds, and it is feared that hundreds if not thousands of residents may contract the disease. 1 out of every 200 people who contract Polio suffers paralysis.

Ars Technica:

The vaccine-derived poliovirus that left an unvaccinated US resident with the country's first case of paralytic polio in nearly a decade has been genetically linked to spread in two other countries: the United Kingdom and Israel. Now that it has been detected in the US, health officials fear it has spread to hundreds or even thousands of people in a poorly vaccinated New York county.

On Monday, officials in New York urgently encouraged unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated "as soon as possible" to prevent further spread of the virus.

"Polio is very contagious, and an individual can transmit the virus even if they aren't sick," the New York State Department of Health said in a news release today. The virus spreads easily via a fecal-oral route through poor hygiene and sanitation. The virus transmits through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated food or water. "Symptoms, which can be mild and flu-like, can take up to 30 days to appear, during which time an infected individual can be shedding virus to others," the health department added.

About 1 in 200 people infected with poliovirus develop paralysis, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means for the one case of paralytic polio to have arisen in New York—which was not linked to any international travel—hundreds of others were likely already infected.