October 6, 2022

The polio virus was found in sewage in a New York suburb dating back to June.

The finding suggested the virus was likely present in the community before the first confirmed case of the disease in nearly a decade was diagnosed last month.

The water sample was taken from Rockland County as part of its Covid-19 surveillance efforts and tested for polio last week after concerns sparked by the new outbreak, which revealed the presence of a strain of the polio virus, health officials said Monday.

Laboratory tests also confirmed that the case strain is genetically related to a strain found in Israel, although that does not mean the patient had traveled to the country, officials added.

Genetic sequencing also linked it to samples of the highly contagious and life-threatening virus in the UK, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The presence of the virus in the wastewater was an indication that more people in the community could be shedding the virus in their feces, the CDC said in an emailed statement.

The health agency, however, added that no new cases had been identified and explained that it was not yet clear whether the virus was actively spreading in New York or elsewhere in the US.

An adult was confirmed to have polio on July 21, the first case of the disease in the US in nearly a decade.

The patient had started showing symptoms in June, when local officials asked doctors to be on the lookout for cases, according to the New York Times.

“Further investigations – both genetic and epidemiological – are underway to determine the potential spread of the virus and the potential risk associated with these various isolates detected from different locations around the world,” Global Poio said in a statement. Eradication Initiative.

“Given how quickly polio can spread, now is the time for every adult, parent and guardian to get themselves and their children vaccinated as soon as possible,” said state health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.

The New York State Department of Health told Reuters that based on the available evidence, it was unable to conclude with certainty whether the positive polio samples came from the case identified in Rockland County.

“Certainly, when samples like these are found, concerns are raised about the potential for community spread — that’s why it’s extremely important that anyone who isn’t vaccinated, particularly in the Rockland County area, get vaccinated as soon as possible,” the department said.

Polio – a highly contagious and potentially fatal virus that paralyzed or killed millions of children around the world before aggressive vaccination efforts began – still has no cure.

It can only be prevented by vaccination.

New York City officials said they are opening vaccination clinics to help unvaccinated residents get shots.

Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is the only polio vaccine given in the US since 2000, according to the CDC. It is given by injection in the leg or arm, depending on the age of the patient.

Polio is often asymptomatic and people can spread the virus even when they don’t look sick. However, it can cause mild flu-like symptoms that can take up to 30 days to appear, officials said.

It can strike at any age, but the majority of those affected are children aged three and under.

While many countries such as the US have not seen a case of polio in years, the disease has not completely disappeared. However, cases have declined significantly over the past two decades.

Additional reports from agencies

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