Health

Polio Has Been Detected in New York City Wastewater, Officials Say

The detection of polio in New York City wastewater suggests that the virus that causes polio is likely circulating in the city, health officials said Friday.

The announcement comes three weeks after a man in Rockland County, New York, north of the city, was diagnosed with polio, which left him paralyzed. Health officials fear the detection of polio in New York City’s wastewater could precede other cases of paralytic polio.

Spreading the virus poses a risk to unvaccinated people, but three doses of the vaccine offer at least 99% protection.

Most adults in the United States were vaccinated against polio during childhood. In New York City, the overall polio immunization coverage for children under the age of 5 is 86%. nevertheless, Postal codes for some cities, less Two-thirds of the children in that group were on full regimens, a figure that worries health officials. (Citywide vaccination rates have declined amid the pandemic as visits to pediatricians have been postponed.)

Health officials say many people with polio are asymptomatic, but about 4% develop viral meningitis, paralyzing about 1 in 200. Parents of children who are not yet fully vaccinated should make sure they are vaccinated soon, officials said.

“The risk to New Yorkers is real, but the defense is very simple: Get vaccinated against polio,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Bassan said in a statement. “With polio prevalent in our communities, nothing is more important than vaccinating children to protect them from this virus. Adults who have not been vaccinated should choose to get vaccinated now.”

“Polio is completely preventable and its relapse should be actionable for all of us,” he added.

The poliovirus has previously been detected in wastewater samples from Rockland County and neighboring Orange County, but Friday’s announcement was the first sign of it being found in New York City.

The city’s health department did not provide details about the exact locations of the five wards where polio was found in the wastewater. did not disclose.

The last case of polio in the United States was in 2013, before being found in Rockland County. Viruses were a source of fear before vaccines were introduced. peak.At the time, as a precautionary measure, public pools were closed and parents were asked to kids indoor.

1916, polio 6,000 dead in US, leaving at least 21,000 more – Most of them are children – with permanent disabilities. New York City, especially Brooklyn, has been hit hard. The 1952 epidemic paralyzed more than 20,000 people and trapped many children in iron lungs. Only a few years later the first effective vaccine appeared and the virus began to recede.

Today, polio is endemic in only two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and others have been kept at bay by vaccine availability.

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