The discovery extends the virus’s presence from the northern New York suburbs to the nation’s largest city

Polio virus found in New York City wastewater

Polio virus , Health authorities announced Friday that polio virus has been found in New York City wastewater, a discovery that extends the known presence of the virus from the region’s northern suburbs to the nation’s largest city. City and state health departments offered no details of where in New York City the virus was discovered, but said there were six positive samples collected in June and July. They said the finding suggests “likely local circulation of the virus.” “Polio can lead to paralysis and even death,” the city said in a tweet. Officials are urging unvaccinated New Yorkers to immediately seek the shots that protect against the virus. The risk to New Yorkers is real but the defense is so simple — get vaccinated against polio,” city Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said in a news release. “With polio circulating in our communities, there is simply nothing more essential than vaccinating our children to protect them from this virus, and if you’re an unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adult, please choose now to get the vaccine. Polio is entirely preventable and its reappearance should be a call to action for all of us.”

Before Friday’s announcement, the virus had been found in wastewater in the northern New York City suburbs of Rockland and Orange counties. Only one person, an unvaccinated 20-year-old man from Rockland County, was known to be infected. The man sought treatment in a New York City hospital in June, officials said last month, and is having difficulty walking. Officials said no other cases have been identified. Officials said the New York City wastewater samples have not been genetically linked to the Rockland County case. His infection, the first in the United States in nearly a decade, and the presence of the virus in wastewater in the suburban counties indicated wider local transmission, the New York State Health Department said last week. Officials urged anyone not immunized against polio, especially people in the greater New York metropolitan area, to be vaccinated.

The U.S. population is highly vaccinated, but anyone unsure whether he or she received the series of shots in childhood should seek advice from a medical provider. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent a team to Rockland County to help with the investigation. Three doses of the polio vaccine provide at least 99 percent protection, according to the CDC. “Based on earlier polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for every one case of paralytic polio observed, there may be hundreds of other people infected,” State Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett said in last week’s statement. “Coupled with the latest wastewater findings, the department is treating the single case of polio as just the tip of the iceberg of much greater potential spread.” Along with covid-19 and monkeypox, the polio case gives the United States three worrisome viral diseases that were nonexistent here a little more than two years ago. Highly contagious, polio was a fearsome, sometimes fatal scourge before a vaccine was developed in 1955. It causes permanent paralysis in people who are not fully vaccinated in about 5 of every 1,000 cases. Most of the U.S. population is protected against the disease through vaccinations in childhood. But in areas with low vaccination coverage, such as the Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, unvaccinated people are at high risk. There is no treatment for polio.

Source: This news is originally published by washingtonpost

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.