The Washington Post (WP) reported on the 21st (local time) that the first case of polio was confirmed in the United States in nine years.
The patient, a resident of Rockland County, New York, was a 20-year-old man who had not been vaccinated, local health officials said Monday.
The man traveled to Poland and Hungary this year and was hospitalized in June.
A previous diagnosis suggested that it might be acute flaccid myelitis, but a follow-up examination revealed spinal polio that was likely to have been transmitted outside the United States.
The patient has been living at his parents’ house with his wife since discharge, and is having difficulty walking, authorities said.
On the same day, authorities issued a polio advisory to residents of the Rockland area, and warned hospitals to be on the lookout for additional cases.
“There is only one case,” a Rockland health official said at a press conference.
The patient is not currently contagious, authorities added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a separate statement that “at this time, the risk for the vaccinated person is low” and “experts are trying to determine where and how this patient got infected.”
However, authorities did not provide any further explanation as to whether the patient was not contagious.
Authorities only disclosed that the patient was treated around June 20 at a New York City hospital.
The last spontaneous outbreak of polio in the United States was in 1979, and this is the first time since 2013 that the CDC has confirmed it.
The medical community considers the contagiousness of patients to be greatest during the first two weeks.
Polio is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease. It develops in children and leaves sequelae of hand and foot paralysis, and among those who are not vaccinated, about 5 out of 1,000 people suffer from permanent paralysis.
As vaccination spreads, major countries, have already issued declarations of eradication.
In the United States, most of the population is immune to childhood vaccinations, but residents of ultra-Orthodox Judaism areas, including Rockland County, are considered a high-risk group due to not being vaccinated.