August 15, 2022

First case of polio in US after nearly a decade

By: Lauren McCaffrey
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Editor's Note 

On Friday, August 12, the New York State Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that polio (poliomyelitis) was detected in local wastewater, Becker’s Hospital Review August 15 reports.

"For every one case of paralytic polio identified, hundreds more may be undetected," Mary Bassett, MD, the state's health commissioner said. "The detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming, but not surprising. Already, the State Health Department—working with local and federal partners—is responding urgently, continuing case investigation and aggressively assessing spread."

Both health departments plan to continue to monitor the waste water alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state and city health departments are advising those unvaccinated, including children under 2 years old, pregnant women, and anyone who have not previously completed the vaccine series, to do so immediately.

The first case after nearly a decade was reported in the US on July 21. After collecting wastewater samples and discovering the virus in June,  the state health officials stated on August 1 that the virus was likely present in the wastewater before the case was reported.

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