Rockland County has first polio case in nation since 2013

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Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert discusses the Rockland polio case

NEW CITY – State and Rockland County health officials announced a case of polio in the county, the first in the country since 2013.

Polio is a viral disease that may affect the neurological system, causing muscle weakness and, in certain cases, resulting in paralysis or death.

Typically, the virus enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected person.

Respiratory transmission and oral to oral transmission through saliva may also account for some cases.

The county will begin its response to the virus on Friday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon when the department of health will offer a polio vaccination clinic at the Pomona Health Complex at 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona. A second clinic will be held at the same place on Monday, July 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said the county is monitoring “this emergent public health issue to protect the health and wellbeing of county residents.”

“Many of you may be too young to remember polio, but when I was growing up, this disease struck fear in families, including my own,” said County Executive Ed Day. “The fact that it is still around decades after the vaccine was created shows you just how relentless it is. Do the right thing for your child and the greater good of your community and have your child vaccinated now.”