Wastewater tests show polio outbreak in Rockland and Orange counties in early June

New wastewater tests show that both Rockland and Orange counties had polio outbreaks in June, a month before officials announced the first positive case of polio in the United States in decades. I was.

“We are expanding our outreach efforts not only in education and information, but also in clinics,” said Dr. Irina Gelman, Orange County Health Commissioner.

Polio is commonly transmitted through contact with human faeces, making wastewater testing very important, according to Dan Shapley, Riverkeeper’s water quality program director.

“We can track certain diseases in wastewater systems … and read whether they are present in the community … perhaps before an outbreak is detected,” he said. I got

The latest sample is linked to a polio case in Rockland County, but that doesn’t mean this person was the source of the infection, but it is evidence that the virus is circulating locally.

Fully vaccinated people are almost completely protected from infection, and nearly three-quarters of those infected with the virus are asymptomatic.

The rest usually have mild cold symptoms, but fewer than 1 in 100 develop life-threatening paralysis.

“Now is the time to talk to your healthcare provider and get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Dr. Gelman said.

Statewide vaccination coverage is nearly 79%, while Orange and Rockland counties are below 60%.

State Health Director Mary T. Bassett has expressed concern about the polio epidemic following the confirmed cases in Rockland and the results of the wastewater investigation.

“Based on previous polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for each observed case of paralytic polio, hundreds of people may be infected,” said the state health commissioner. Dr. Mary T. Bassett of said in a release.

“Combined with the latest wastewater findings, the Department is treating the single case of polio as just the tip of the iceberg with the potential for much greater spread. It is clear: the danger of polio exists in new areas, and by ensuring that adults, including pregnant women, and infants up to two months old have access to the latest immunizations, the It’s the safe protection against this debilitating virus that every New Yorker needs.”

Dr. Patricia Schnabel Rupert, Rockland County Health Commissioner, also issued a statement, saying, “We must stop the unprecedented circulation of polio in our communities from a devastating disease that was eradicated from the United States in 1979. not.”

“Unvaccinated children and adults should get their first polio shot right away. The Rockland County Health Department is here to help residents get vaccinated. Read more Please see our web page for more information.”

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