Paralyzing Polio Returns To Hudson Valley, New York State
New York State Health officials are worried polio was detected for the first time this year in the Hudson Valley.
The New York State Department Of Health confirmed this weekend polio was found in new wastewater samples in Rockland County.
Polio Found Again In Rockland County, New York
In late July 2022, health officials confirmed a Rockland County resident tested positive for polio. The virus left the young Rockland County resident paralyzed.
It's believed the Rockland County resident got the virus from someone outside of the United States.
Health officials just confirmed one new sample of wastewater collected in February 2023 in Rockland County is "genetically linked to the individual case of paralytic polio among a Rockland County resident."
"Polio is highly contagious, and people can spread the virus even if they don't know they're sick. However, individuals infected with polio shed virus in their stool. Wastewater samples – which are based on water from our sewage system – collect and treat feces flushed down the toilet. This makes wastewater surveillance critical to identifying poliovirus among both asymptomatic and symptomatic people," the New York State Department of Health stated.
First Positive Sample In New York Since October 2022
This marks the first positive sample in New York State since October 2022. Rockland County Executive Ed Day said the sample was discovered in wastewater from the Sloatsburg area.
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Day did share positive news saying the sample was "deemed inconsequential."
"This reading was deemed inconsequential as this single positive result was collected in February and has so far been followed by non-detections in wastewater samples," Day said. "That said, this is not the time to slow down our attack on polio and we have doubled down on our vaccination efforts."
Polio Detected In Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Brooklyn, Nassau Counties
Since the Rockland resident tested positive for polio 101 positive samples were found in wastewater across New York State.
"Wastewater surveillance is an important public health tool, providing the early and ongoing detection of polio in communities. This monitoring helps identify where the virus may be and when, though it does not provide quantitative information about who or how many people or households may be infected," the New York State Department states.
Of the 101 positive samples, 94 are genetically linked to the case of paralytic polio for the Rockland County resident.
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Of the 94 samples, 45 samples were collected in Rockland County, 30 samples were collected in Orange County, 13 samples were collected in Sullivan County, 5 samples were collected in Brooklyn and Queens and 1 sample was collected in Nassau County.