Polio Detected In More New York State Water; Is Upstate At Risk?
The Centers for Disease Control confirm that polio is now actively spreading north to new areas across New York, after more public wastewater tested positive for the virus. This news comes after New York reported the first polio paralysis case in the United States since 2014.
Local and state officials are urging people to get their polio vaccines, as that is the only way to combat the incurable virus. With this new county, more health departments and organizations fear polio could become widespread across New York.
Polio's Return To New York
An unvaccinated Rockland County man was hospitalized in New York City after traveling in Europe in July. That man was found to be infected with a strain of vaccine-derived polio. After this, the CDC began testing Rockland County residents and water samples, where the first polio-positive sewage sample was discovered. Since then, polio has also been found in Orange County and New York City wastewater.
The World Health Organization says irreversible paralysis, the reason why the virus is so feared, occurs in 1 in 200 cases on average. One percent of all cases leads to total body paralysis, which is usually fatal. There is no cure for polio, only a preventative measure through the vaccine.
Which New York County Is The Latest To Detect Polio In The Water?
“I want to be clear, however, that to date we have not had any cases of polio found in Sullivan County, and so long as all adults and children are up to date with their polio vaccinations, the disease poses no threat.” - Public Health Director Nancy McGraw
Sullivan County is the latest New York county to test positive, bringing polio's presence into the mid-Hudson-Valley. The county has a 62.33% polio vaccination rate. While there is no threat through drinking water, Sullivan County officials urge citizens to get vaccinated and to not panic.
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