Polio Virus Detected in Wastewater Samples Outside New York City

According to state health officials, polio has been detected in samples of wastewater taken from two different counties outside of New York City. This indicates the spread of this virus.

The New York State Department of Health stated that during the months of June and July, wastewater samples were taken from two different locations in Orange county that were taken tested positive for the virus.

These findings were highlighted after an unvaccinated adult came in contact with the virus in Rockland county, suffered paralysis, and was eventually hospital last month.

The disease later appeared in wastewater samples in Rockland county, which neighbors Orange county.

As per New York health officials, these findings of the virus significantly indicate the potential spread of the virus. This ultimately underlines the urgency of receiving immunization; in specific, this applies to the metropolitan residents of greater New York.

The individual from Rockland county who contracted polio suggests that the US is not where this chain of transmission begins. This vaccine includes a minor version of the virus that can reproduce again, which ultimately represents the spread of this virus to others through individuals that receive this vaccine.

But for more than 20 years now, the US hasn’t used the oral polio vaccine. As far as the polio strain is concerned in the US, the nation administers an inactivated polio vaccine which can be given as a shot in either the arm or leg. After taking the vaccine, vaccinated individuals cannot infect others as the vaccine contains a non-replicating version of the virus strain.

The polio case identified in New York is genetically linked to the wastewater samples from Rockland county. This marks a similar instance of virus identification from samples measured in the greater area of Jerusalem, Israel as well as those from London, England. In June, health officials detected a polio case in sewage samples from London; after which, a declaration of a national incident was made.

The New York State health department said that residents need to be aware of the fact that the individual case detected in Rockland county, New York, had previously traveled to either the UK or Israel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US has not recorded a single case of polio since 1979, and ever since, the country has been a polio-free nation. Citizens feared the polio virus back in the 1940s, as it was a time when there were no vaccines available.

The CDC further stated that the virus infected over 35,000 individuals each year during that period of time.

however, a vaccination campaign organized by the US back in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in dramatically reducing the number of positive cases.

Polio is still reported in the US, but all these cases are related to individuals that traveled outside the country and acted as carriers for this virus. Since 2013, it has been the first time that the US has confirmed polio cases. The last polio case confirmed in New York state was in 1990.

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