Polio Found In New York State Water; CDC Trying To Prevent Spread
The Centers for Disease Control confirm they have found polio in a wastewater sample from a New York community. The virus had not been detected in the United State for almost a decade until two weeks ago.
Now the CDC and Global Polio Eradication Initiative are trying to figure out how the virus worked its way into the water and who else could potentially be affected by the disease. In light of this new discovery, global, federal, and state health departments are urging vaccination.
Polio Returns To New York
On July 21, a Rockland County man without the polio vaccine was hospitalized in New York after traveling in Europe. That man was found to be infected with a strain of vaccine-derived polio. The CDC entered the community and began testing, including the sewage sample where additional viral cases were discovered.
There is inconclusive evidence that the virus found could have come from a source other than the original Rockland patient. Officials are now looking for anyone else in the community who could have the disease. New York State Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett issued a statement on Twitter.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day was originally quoted by The Washington Post saying the infected patient was not contagious, but also urged the polio vaccine.
“The fact that it is still around decades after the vaccine was created shows you just how relentless it is. Do the right thing for your child and the greater good of your community and have your child vaccinated now.”
Rockland is considered an under-vaccinated county, typically due to religious reasons. In 2019, Rockland County also suffered a measles outbreak. Given the county's proximity to New York City and suburban status, the faster any new cases can be identified, the better.