Polio detected in sewage in New York City, suggesting virus is spreading

NEW YORK (AP) — The virus that causes polio has been found in wastewater in New York City, health officials said Friday, in another sign that the disease, unseen in the U.S. in a decade, is unvaccinated spread quietly among the crowd. .

Health authorities in the city, New York state and the federal government said the presence of the poliovirus in the city’s wastewater suggests the virus may be spreading locally.

Authorities are urging parents to vaccinate their children against the potentially deadly disease.

“The risk to New Yorkers is real, but the defense is simple — get the polio vaccine,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Wasan. “With polio epidemics in our community, nothing is more important than vaccinating our children to protect them from this virus, if you are an unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adult , please get vaccinated now. Polio is completely preventable and its reemergence should be a call to action for all of us.”

“We know that polio is spreading silently, and it’s very likely that many people have been infected with polio and are living in these communities,” said Dr. Spread the virus. It is also an urgent and vivid reminder of the importance of vaccination. “

New York City forced to face polio as city health officials struggle to vaccinate vulnerable populations against monkeypox And adapt to changing COVID-19 guidelines.

“We’re dealing with a trio,” Mayor Eric Adams said on CNN Friday. “COVID is still important. Polio, we found polio in sewage, we’re still dealing with the monkeypox crisis. But the team is there. We’re coordinating, we’re dealing with the threats that lie ahead of us, and we’re ready to to deal with them with the assistance of Washington, D.C.”

The announcement about the discovery of the polio virus in New York City came shortly after UK health authorities reported that the virus had been circulating in London but no cases had been detected in people.Children aged 1-9 in London are eligible for booster doses Polio vaccine Wednesday.

In New York, a man was paralyzed by a polio infection in Rockland County a few weeks ago, North of the city. Wastewater samples collected in Rockland and neighboring Orange County in June were found to contain the virus.

CDC officials said the viruses found in wastewater samples collected in New York City did not have enough genetic material to determine whether they were linked to the Rockland County patient.

Most people who contract polio have no symptoms, but can still spread the virus to others for days or weeks. Vaccination provides strong protection, and authorities are urging those who have not yet received it to get vaccinated immediately.

Officials say hundreds of people in the state may have contracted polio based on past outbreaks, but they don’t know it.

Polio was once one of the most feared diseases in the United States, with outbreaks leading to thousands of paralysis cases each year. The disease mainly affects children.

Vaccines have been available since 1955, and a nationwide vaccination campaign reduced the number of cases in the United States each year to less than 100 in the 1960s and less than 10 in the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A small percentage of people with polio become paralyzed. The disease is fatal for 5-10% of people with paralysis.

All schoolchildren in New York are required to be vaccinated against polio, but both Rockland and Orange counties are known as vaccine resistance centers.

According to the latest childhood vaccination data from the CDC, about 93 percent of 2-year-olds have received at least three doses of the polio vaccine. But it’s just 80 percent in New York state, and much lower in surrounding areas where polio cases have been reported — just 60 percent in Rockland County and 59 percent in Orange County, according to state data.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said that while all health officials are urging the unvaccinated to get vaccinated immediately, there is currently no evidence that a booster like London’s is needed in New York City or elsewhere. Sports in America

“The polio vaccine given in infancy should have fairly long-term protection,” he said.

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