Polio Has Been Detected In New York City Wastewater, Officials Say – Slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Polio has been detected in New York City wastewater, suggesting that the virus that causes the disease is probably circulating in the city, the health authorities said on Friday. The announcement came three weeks after a man in Rockland County, N.Y., north of the city, was diagnosed with polio thatleft him with paralysis. Health officials fear that the detection of polio in New York City’s wastewater could precede other cases of paralytic polio. The spread of the virus poses a risk to unvaccinated people, but a three-dose course of the vaccine provides at least 99 percent protection.

Most adults in the United Stateswere vaccinated against polio as children. In New York City, the overall rate of polio vaccination among children 5 and under is 86 percent. Still, insome city ZIP codes, fewer thantwo-thirds of children in that group have received a full regimen, a figure that worries health officials. (The citywide vaccination rate dipped amid the pandemic, as visits to pediatricians were postponed.) Although many people who become infected with polio do not develop symptoms, about 4 percent will get viral meningitis and about 1 in 200 will become paralyzed, according to the health authorities. Parents of children who have not yet been fully vaccinated should see that they are immediately, officials said. “While the polio virus had previously been detected in wastewater samples in Rockland and neighboring Orange Counties, the announcement on Friday was the first sign it had been found in New York City,” adds the report. “The city’s health department did not provide details about where exactly in the five boroughs polio had been found in the wastewater, nor did officials provide dates for when the virus was detected or say how many samples had tested positive.”

Further reading: Vaccine-Derived Polio Is On the Rise

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