Wastewater samples outside New York City suggest community spillover

Polio virus particles, computer illustration.

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According to state health officials, polio was found in wastewater samples taken from two counties outside of New York City indicating the virus was spreading in the community.

Wastewater samples taken from two different locations in Orange County during June and July tested positive for the virus, according to the New York State Department of Health.

The findings come after a Unvaccinated adults in Rockland County with polio, was paralyzed and was hospitalized last month. Polio was later found in Rockland County wastewater samples. Orange County’s neighbor Rockland County.

“These environmental findings – further demonstrating the potential for community spread – beyond the polio case identified in a Rockland County resident, underscore the urgency of every New York adult and child. Yorkers must be immunized against polio, especially those in the greater New York metropolitan area,” New York health officials said.

The polio strain caught by adults in Rockland County suggests that the chain of transmission did not begin in the United States. The strain the individual contracted is used in the oral polio vaccine, which contains a mild version of the virus that is still reproducible. This means that people who receive the oral vaccine can spread the virus to others.

But the United States has not used an oral polio vaccine for more than 20 years. The United States uses an inactivated polio vaccine that is injected into the leg or arm. The vaccine uses a non-replicating strain of the virus, which means that the people who get it cannot infect others.

The New York polio case is genetically related to Rockland County wastewater samples as well as samples from the greater Jerusalem area in Israel and London in the United Kingdom. UK health authorities declare a national incident in June after they discovered polio in sewage samples in London.

“New Yorkers should be aware that this does not mean that the individual case identified in Rockland County, New York has a history of travel to Israel or the United Kingdom,” the New York state health department said.

No cases of polio have originated in the United States since 1979, and the country has been deemed polio-free since then, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Polio caused widespread fear in the 1940s before there was a vaccine. According to the CDC, the virus disabled more than 35,000 people a year during that time.

But a successful vaccination campaign in the 1950s and 1960s dramatically reduced the number of infections. Polio cases are still reported in the US, but they have been linked to travelers who brought the virus into the country. The Rockland County case is the first time the United States has confirmed an infection since 2013. New York State last confirmed an infection in 1990.

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