New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declares emergency as polio virus has been detected in yet another New York City county
The city of New York, New York. Following the discovery of the poliovirus in the wastewater of yet another county in the metropolitan area of New York City, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York announced on Friday that the state would increase its efforts to combat polio.
The first case of polio to be found in the United States in nearly a decade was discovered in Rockland County, which is located to the north of the city, in the month of July. This prompted health officials to begin testing for traces of the virus in sewage water. The most recent finding involves a sample of wastewater that was collected one month ago in Nassau County, which is located on Long Island and is situated due east of the city.
The sample has been genetically linked to the case of polio that occurred in Rockland, and it gives further indication of widening community dissemination, according to officials from the state health department. In the past, the poliovirus was found in wastewater samples taken from New York City as well as from three counties located to the city’s north: Rockland, Orange, and Sullivan.
As a result of Hochul’s declaration of a state of emergency due to a natural catastrophe, first responders, midwives, and pharmacists are now authorized to deliver polio vaccines, and medical professionals are free to issue standing orders for the vaccine. The data collected on vaccinations will be used to target vaccination efforts where they are most desperately required.
In a statement that was previously released, the state Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, warned that “on polio, we just cannot roll the dice.” “The risk of paralytic disease is real for you or your child if you have not been vaccinated or if your child’s vaccines are out of date. I strongly encourage New Yorkers to avoid taking any risk at all.”
The rate of polio vaccination across the state is 79%, however Rockland, Orange, and Sullivan counties all reported lower rates than the state average.
According to the statements made by state officials, it is likely that hundreds of people in the state have contracted polio but are unaware of it. The majority of persons who are infected with polio do not experience any symptoms; yet, they are still capable of transmitting the virus to others for days or weeks.
The only confirmed case in New York State was a young adult of unknown identity who had not received any vaccinations.