A strain of polio that infected a 20-year-old Jewish man in New York has been linked to strains found in London and Jerusalem.
The Rockland County man, who has not been named, was the first reported case of the virus in nearly a decade, according to multiple reports.
He was infected in June and was left paralyzed by the disease and required hospital care. The man has since been discharged.
The Journal News said that health officials did not provide an update on the man’s condition or if his paralysis subsided. The man was not vaccinated against the disease and had not recently traveled abroad.
He was infected by a vaccine-derived strain of polio — meaning it originated in a vaccine before spilling into the environment and behaving more like a wild version of the disease, according to the Daily Mail.
The strain was detected in Rockland’s wastewater in June and is genetically linked to the strain found in wastewater samples taken from the Jerusalem area in Israel. Health officials in the United Kingdom also found the same strain in the wastewater in North and East London.
Neither Jerusalem nor London has confirmed a patient being hospitalized for the disease.
Israel recorded its first polio case in 30 years in March, according to the Times of Israel. It has since been listed as one of the World Health Organization’s polio “outbreak countries.”
Polio is a virus that begins in the intestine. An infected person’s stool later contaminates either the food or water supply that is spread when ingested by someone else.
The disease is more common — and severe — in kids. A series of vaccinations are typically carried out prior to a child turning 2 years old.
The Mail reported that 1 in 10 people who catch polio die from the disease. A quarter of those who catch it will display flu-like symptoms. One in 25 people will see the infection spread to their spinal cord, resulting in paralysis.