August 10, 2022
New York Department of Health says hundreds of people may be infected with polio virus

New York state health officials have found signs of additional cases of polio virus in wastewater samples from two different counties, warning them that hundreds of people could be infected with a potentially serious virus.

Just two weeks ago, the New York Department of Health announced the country’s first case of polio In about a decade, in Rockland County, north of New York City. officials said This case occurred in a previously healthy young adult who had been unvaccinated and had developed paralysis in their legs. Since then, three positive wastewater samples from Rockland County and four from neighboring Orange County have been discovered and genetically linked to the first case, the Department of Health said in a statement. Press release on Thursday, suggesting that the polio virus is being spread within local communities. The latest samples were taken from two locations in Orange County in June and July and one in Rockland County in July.

“Based on earlier polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should be aware that for every single case of paralytic polio, hundreds of others may be infected,” said state health commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “With the latest wastewater findings, the department is treating a single case of polio as the tip of the iceberg of much more likely spread. As we learn more, what we know is clear: the threat of polio in New York City.” exists in York today.”

The Department of Health reiterated that it is still investigating the origins of the virus, and said it was not yet clear whether the infected person in Rockland County was linked to other cases.

Polio is “a serious and life-threatening disease,” the state health department said. It is highly contagious and can be spread by people who are not yet symptomatic. Symptoms usually appear within 30 days of infection, and may be mild or flu-like. some people who may be infected become paralyzed,

before polio vaccine Introduced in the 1950s, thousands of Americans died of polio outbreaks and tens of thousands, many of them children, were left with paralysis. After a successful vaccination campaign, polio was officially declared eradicated in the United States in 1979.

The Department of Health said unvaccinated New Yorkers are encouraged to get vaccinated immediately. Non-vaccinated people living, working or spending time in Rockland County, Orange County and the New York metropolitan area are at greatest risk.

Most school children receive the polio vaccine, which is a four-dose course starting between 6 weeks and 2 months of age and followed by a shot at 4 months, one at 6 to 12 months, and more There is a shot in the middle. 4 and 6. According to the Department of Health, about 60% of children in Rockland County have received three polio shots before their second birthday, as do about 59% in Orange County—both statewide figures are less than 79%.

According to the most recent childhood immunization data from the CDC, about 93% of 2-year-olds in the U.S. had received at least three doses of the polio vaccine.

Meanwhile, adults who have not been vaccinated will receive a three-dose vaccination, and those who have been vaccinated but are at high risk can receive a lifelong booster shot, according to the Department of Health.

Health officials said the vaccine is 99% effective in children who receive the full four-dose regime.

Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina said, “It’s related to the fact that polio, a disease that has been largely eliminated through vaccination, is now spreading in our community, especially in some of our counties. Given the low vaccination rates for this debilitating disease in the regions.” Gelman said. “I urge all non-vaccinated Orange County residents to get vaccinated as soon as medically possible.”

Rockland County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Rupert issued a similar statement, calling on people who have not been vaccinated to get the shot “immediately.”

Polio is rarely encountered in America since it was declared eradicated 40 years ago. The last reported case was brought by a passenger in 2013According to the Associated Press.

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