Second Under-Vaccinated New York County Confirms Local Poliovirus
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced it had detected poliovirus in wastewater samples from June and July 2022 in two geographically different locations in Orange County and July samples from Rockland County, New York.
On August 4, 2022, the NYSDOH confirmed sequence analysis by the U.S. CDC found that seven positive samples from both Rockland County (three) and Orange County (four) are genetically linked to the individual case of paralytic polio previously identified in a Rockland County resident.
These findings provide further evidence of local transmission of poliovirus.
This news underscores the urgency for every New York adult and child to get immunized, especially those in the greater New York metropolitan area.
New Yorkers who are unsure of their vaccination status, or that of a loved one, should reach out to a healthcare provider right away to get vaccinated or receive a polio vaccine booster.
As of August 1, 2022, Rockland County has a polio vaccination rate of 60.34%, and Orange County has a polio vaccination rate of 58.68%, compared to the statewide average of 78.96%, among children who have received three polio immunizations before their second birthday.
"It is concerning that polio, a disease that has been largely eradicated through vaccination is now circulating in our community, especially given the low rates of vaccination for this debilitating disease in certain areas of our County," Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman said in a press release.
"I urge all unvaccinated Orange County residents to get vaccinated as soon as medically feasible."
While there is no cure for polio, it is preventable through safe and effective immunization.
According to CDC, inactivated poliovirus vaccine protects 99% of children who get all the recommended doses.
Polio is a severe and life-threatening disease that is very contagious and can be transmitted even if a person is not sick.
According to evidence from earlier polio outbreaks, health officials estimate that for every one case of paralytic polio, hundreds of other people may be infected, says the CDC.
Some polio cases can result in paralysis or death.
According to the WHO, 5-10% of those paralyzed die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
New Yorkers can learn more about polio and polio immunization at this web link.
Additional international polio outbreak and vaccination news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.com/Polio.
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