Polio virus found in New York sewage sample, health officials urge residents to get vaccinated
A highly contagious and potentially deadly disease that was eradicated from the United States in 1979 has recently been discovered in sewage samples in New York. Health officials said there was a confirmed case of poliovirus in a county in Rockland, just north of New York, The Guardian reports.
The New York State Department of Health collected a sample of infected sewage in June, meaning “the virus was present in the community before the Rockland County adult was diagnosed. public on July 21. The Guardian added. The department said “when such samples are identified, it raises concerns about the potential for community spread.” Reuters Remarks.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in an email that it was not yet clear whether the virus was actively spreading in New York or other states, and “no new cases was identified”. However, authorities are still urging residents to get vaccinated, “given how quickly polio can spread,” New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said.
Poliomyelitis is known to cause irreversible paralysis and anyone of any age can get it, but the majority of those affected are children aged 3 and under.
The CDC said lab tests confirmed the strain was genetically linked to one found in Israel and to samples of the virus in the UK.
New York health officials are working to open vaccination clinics for residents to get their inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) – the only vaccine against the virus given in the United States since 2000.