Polio Found In Water In Hudson Valley, New York
New York State Health officials confirmed polio was found in water in the Hudson Valley.
On Monday, the New York State Department of Health updated New Yorkers after an Empire State resident tested positive for polio.
Rockland County, New York Resident Tests Positive For Polio
In late July, health officials confirmed a Rockland County resident tested positive for polio. WCBS 880 reports the young Rockland County resident, an unvaccinated Orthodox Jewish man, is now suffering from paralysis.
It's believed the Rockland County resident got the virus from someone outside of the United States.
Facts About Polio
Polio is a viral disease that may affect the neurologic system, causing muscle weakness and, in certain cases, resulting in paralysis or death, according to health officials. The virus typically enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected person. Respiratory or oral transmission is less common but also possible.
Polio is very contagious. You can spread the virus without ever feeling sick. Symptoms that can be mild or flu-like can take up to 30 days to appear. During this timeframe, the infected person can spread the virus. Up to 95 percent of infected people show no symptoms but can still spread the virus, according to health officials.
"Though rare, some polio cases can result in paralysis or death," the New York State Department of Health states.
Polio Found in Rockland County Wastewater
On Monday, the New York State Department of Health confirmed polio was found in wastewater in Rockland County.
"Following the identification of a case of polio in a Rockland County resident, NYSDOH launched wastewater surveillance, among other detection efforts, to check for signs of the virus. Following analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the polio virus was detected in samples from June in Rockland County. These findings underscore the critical importance of vaccination to protect all New Yorkers and New York children against polio," the New York State Department of Health stated.
The wastewater with polio is genetically linked to two Sabin-like type 2 (SL2) isolates, collected from the early June samples from Rockland County and samples from greater Jerusalem, Israel as well as to the recently-detected VDPV2 from environmental samples in London, UK, officials say.
"New Yorkers should know that this does not imply that the individual case identified in New York has travel history to Israel or the UK," the New York State Department of Health added.
Is Polio Spreading in New York State?
As of this writing, there have not been any new confirmed cases of polio and it's not clear if the virus is actively spreading across New York State. However, health officials urge all New Yorkers to make sure they are vaccinated.
"Polio is a dangerous disease with potentially devastating consequences," State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "In the United States, we are so fortunate to have available the crucial protection offered through polio vaccination, which has safeguarded our country and New Yorkers for over 60 years. 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."
Health officials stress unvaccinated New Yorkers who live, work, go to school in, or visit Rockland County are at the highest risk of exposure.