MAYVILLE, N.Y.:-- On July 29, 2022, Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel stated in an interview with WRFA, a radio station in Jamestown, that a polio case had been detected in Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua County Health Department and the New York State Department of Health have reviewed all lab reports, and advise the public that no polio cases have been detected in Chautauqua County at this time.
“I would like to provide an update that there have been no cases of polio detected in Chautauqua County,” said Wendel. “Routine communication from our health department shared information about a case of polio detected in Rockland County, N.Y.; however, the information was mistakenly attributed by me to being a local case during an interview with WRFA.”
Polio is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that can affect the nervous system and cause muscle weakness. The polio virus typically enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with fecal matter of an infected person. Respiratory and oral-to-oral transmission through saliva may also occur.
Polio is very contagious, and a person can spread the virus even if they aren't sick. Symptoms, which can be mild and flu-like (fatigue, fever, headache, stiffness, muscle pain, vomiting), can take up to 30 days to appear, during which time an infected individual can be shedding virus to others. Though rare, some polio cases can result in paralysis or death.
Given the case detected in Eastern New York State, the Chautauqua County Health Department recommends that local residents review their vaccine histories with their health care providers to ensure that they have been vaccinated against polio.