New York City health officials said on Friday that polio virus has been found in sewage flowing out of New York City, suggesting the virus could be spreading in the city.
The announcement comes after a man contracted polio in Rockland County, NY, just north of the city. Paralyzed him. Health officials fear other cases of paralytic polio following the discovery of polio in New York City’s sewage. During the pandemic, vaccination rates dropped slightly across the city as pediatrician visits for children were postponed.
But most adults were vaccinated against polio in childhood. All over New York State, almost 80 percent of the population has been vaccinated. The spread of the virus poses a risk to the unvaccinated, but the polio vaccine is almost 100 percent effective in those who are fully immunized.
Three doses of the vaccine provide at least 99 percent protection, but Some zip codes are limited Two-thirds of children aged 5 and under are pregnant, worrying health officials.
Although many people infected with polio have no symptoms, 4 percent develop viral meningitis and 1 in 200 become paralyzed, health officials say. Health officials have urged parents of children who are not yet fully vaccinated to bring them to pediatricians.
“The risk to New Yorkers is real, but protection is simple — get vaccinated against polio,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “With polio circulating in our communities, there is nothing more urgent than vaccinating our children against this virus, and if you are an unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adult, choose now to get vaccinated.”
“Polio is completely preventable and its resurgence should be a call to action for all of us,” he added.
There was polio already detected in wastewater samples taken in the North of New York City. But Friday’s announcement is the first sign it’s been detected in New York City.