The scene in Rockland County on Friday morning might have been from a time capsule: residents rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinations for a disease that has made an unexpected appearance in New York City's suburbs.

A day after the county authorities announced that a local adult had tested positive for the disease, there was sudden interest in the vaccine. Some people couldn't remember if they had received the vaccine, which has been widely available since the 1950s.

Todd Messler was one of them. He was one of 18 people who received shots at a pop-up clinic in New York.

He said it hurt but he felt better. The way to go is definitely it.

Todd Messler arrived for a polio vaccination clinic on Friday, a day after the discovery of a case of the disease in Rockland County.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

State and county health officials were interviewing immediate family members of the patient and urging immunizations for everyone else who hadn't gotten one.

The director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control at the state Health Department said that there was no indication of more cases yet and that the state was checking wastewater for signs of the virus.

The officials were trying to get the word out that people were not familiar with the seriousness of the disease.

He said that the last real case he had seen was probably pictures of F.D.R. A lot of people don't understand the gravity of the disease

It wasn't clear when or where the patient had contracted the disease, but health officials believed the person had been exposed to the vaccine.

According to county officials, the O.P.V. vaccine has not been given in the US since 2000. The oral vaccine is safe, but people who are unvaccinated can get sick.

The strain could be spread by those who come in contact with stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, according to county officials.

Rockland County's health commissioner said on Thursday that the patient had suffered from weakness and paralysis.

Mr. Backenson said that it was difficult to detect the degree of the disease's spread because most of the people with the disease were not paralyzed.

He said that the biggest concern was that a lot of people out there could potentially be spreading the disease. There is a reason for the urgentness.

According to Rockland County officials, the person did not travel outside the country during the transmission window, which makes it hard to track down the transmission.

The Rockland case was discovered after state officials raised the alarm about acute flaccid myelitis, a neurological disease that can cause paralysis in children. The notice about the disease was given to clinicians by the department. Instead of finding A.F.M., the doctor sent the sample to the state authorities.

Polio vaccines, typically administered in childhood, were made available to anyone who was unvaccinated.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

State officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified county officials of the positive identification of the disease. Several local officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of patient privacy concerns, saying that the patient was a man in his 20s and a member of the Orthodox Jewish community.

Hundreds of cases of the disease were reported in the county and in Brooklyn in the last two years, which is home to many Orthodox residents. State data shows that Rockland County has a lower rate of vaccine for small children than other counties. There is misinformation about vaccines in the Orthodox community.

The new law that ended religious exemptions for immunizations was passed in June of this year after a heated debate in Albany.

Yechiel Teichman, an Orthodox father of two young daughters, said he was alarmed by the news of the resurgence of the disease even though he and his daughters were vaccine free.

Mr. Teichman said that it reminded him of his family members who had been affected by the disease. Everyone is advised to get vaccinations.

The resident confessed to a lack of patience with the talk of diseases, including the coronaviruses and recent cases of monkeypox. He said that he was more worried about the effects of the disease than Covid.

Even though she had grown up in an ultra-Orthodox household, her parents had been too scared of the disease to give her the vaccine. Many of her friends did not get the vaccine.

She said it was a bit weird. There could be anything that comes up. We don't have a clue what's next.

Local elected officials agree that the community and government should be aggressive in their response to the disease.

The Assemblyman from Rockland said that he was shocked to be told of the case of the disease. They need to attack this in a war room.

Yechiel Teichman said that he and his children had been vaccinated against polio but that the news of a case in the community was still alarming.Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

The district was once again dealing with a disease that had seemingly been defeated by modern medicine, only to flare up again in an unvaccinated person.

He asked if you would be at risk if you took your children to the mall. We haven't had to worry about this for a long time.

A member of the Rockland County Legislature who is a Hasidic Jew encouraged unvaccinated people to be inoculated as soon as possible. He said that it could save lives.

One of the most feared diseases of the 20th century was eradicated thanks to vaccine development. The United States has not had a case of the disease in more than two years. According to the C.D.C., the last case to start in the US was in 1979.

The immunization on Friday morning helped Mr. Messler relax, though he said the threat of diseases had left him a little tired.

He thought it was a drag. I'm not alarmed at all. These things will come back and come back.

Hurubie Meko made a report.