/  07.22.2022

This year has seen its fair share of global health issues. In the midst of trying to adapt to life during the era of COVID, monkeypox became a headlining concern. As if two major health scares at once wasn’t enough to deal with, a third has entered the chat. Yesterday (July 21), New York confirmed its first case of polio in almost a decade.

According to the Associated Press, health officials announced that a Rockland County resident contracted the virus. The unidentified person developed symptoms a month ago and has now developed paralysis. Polio can be contracted through contaminated food or water. Those already infected with the virus can also spread it to others. In some cases, polio can be fatal. Officials say the person in Rockland County is no longer contagious. They also noted the virus is easily avoidable by receiving a vaccine.

Jennifer Nuzzo, a pandemic researcher at Brown University, spoke with the Associated Press about the new case. “This isn’t normal. We don’t want to see this,” she said. Nuzzo added, “If you’re vaccinated, it’s not something you need to worry about. But if you haven’t gotten your kids vaccinated, it’s really important that you make sure they’re up to date.” Yesterday, Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert spoke at a conference urging residents to take precautions. “We want shots in the arms of those who need it,” Ruppert said.

State Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett also spoke about the polio confirmation yesterday, as reported by CNN. “Based on what we know about this case, and polio in general, the Department of Health strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals get vaccinated or boosted with the FDA-approved IPV polio vaccine as soon as possible,” the commissioner shared. The last documented case of naturally occurring polio in the United States was in 1979. As health officials continue to monitor the situation, here’s what people are saying on Twitter.

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