Monday, August 1, 2022

That polio case is from a New York county known for vaccine resistance


Polio is a very contagious, life-threatening viral disease that causes permanent paralysis in people who are not fully vaccinated in about 5 out of every 1,000 cases. Most of the U.S. population has protection against the disease because they were vaccinated during childhood. But in areas with low vaccination coverage, such as the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, people who are not vaccinated are at high risk. There is no treatment for polio, but vaccination prevents the disease.


The Rockland County man lives in a community that has historically been under-vaccinated and was the epicenter of the measles outbreak in 2019, according to public health officials who spoke on the condition on anonymity.


According to the state health department, Rockland County currently has a polio vaccination rate of just 60.5 percent among 2-year-olds, compared to the statewide average of 79 percent.