Polio virus found in New York wastewater after first confirmed case in a decade


The polio virus has been found in wastewater in a New York City suburb dating back to June.

The finding suggests the virus may have been present in the community before the first confirmed case in nearly a decade was diagnosed last month.

Health officials said Monday that water samples were taken from Rockland County as part of a Covid-19 surveillance effort that was tested for polio last week after concerns were raised about a new case that showed the presence of a strain of the poliovirus.

Laboratory tests also confirmed that the strain in this case was genetically related to the one found in Israel, but that did not mean the patient had traveled to the country, officials added.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the genetic sequencing also linked it to samples of the highly contagious and life-threatening virus in the UK.

The CDC said in an emailed statement that the presence of the virus in the wastewater suggests that more people in the community may shed the virus in their feces.

However, the health agency added that no new cases had been detected, explaining that it was unclear whether the virus was actively spreading in New York or elsewhere in the United States.

On July 21, an adult was confirmed to have polio, the first case of polio in the United States in nearly a decade.

The patient reportedly started showing symptoms in June, when local officials asked doctors to keep tabs on cases. New York Times.

“Further genetic and epidemiological investigations are ongoing to determine the possible spread of the virus and the potential risks associated with these different isolates detected from around the world,” the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said in a statement.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said: “Given how quickly polio is spreading, it’s time for every adult, parent and guardian to get themselves and their children vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The New York State Department of Health told Reuters it could not determine whether the positive polio sample came from a case identified in Rockland County based on the available evidence.

“Certainly, when such samples are identified, it raises concerns about the potential for community transmission — which is why it is critical that anyone who has not been vaccinated, especially in the Rockland County area, get vaccinated as soon as possible,” the department said.

Polio — a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus that paralyzed or killed millions of children around the world before aggressive vaccination attempts began — remains incurable.

It can only be prevented by vaccination.

New York officials say they are opening vaccine clinics to help unvaccinated residents get vaccinated.

Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine administered in the United States since 2000, according to the CDC. The injection is given in the leg or arm, depending on the patient’s age.

Polio is usually asymptomatic, and people can spread the virus even if they don’t appear to be sick. But officials say it produces mild flu-like symptoms that can take up to 30 days to appear.

It can occur at any age, but most affected children are three years old and younger.

While many countries like the United States have seen no cases of polio for years, the disease has not gone completely extinct. However, over the past few decades, cases have dropped significantly.

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