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Hundreds of people may have poliovirus, New York Health Department says

New York state reports first polio case in the United States since 2013

New York State Health Authorities found signs of additional cases of poliovirus in wastewater samples from two different counties, testing hundreds of people for the potentially serious virus. I warned you that you might be infected.

Just two weeks ago, the New York Department of Health announced the first polio case in the United States in nearly a decade in Rockland County . } reported. north of New York City. Since then, three positive wastewater samples have been found from Rockland County and four from neighboring Orange County, genetically linked to the first case, the Department of Health said in a press release on Thursday. }, suggesting that the polio virus is underway. Spread to local communities. The most recent samples were taken from two locations in Orange County in June and July and one in Rockland County in July.

"Based on previous polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for each observed case of paralytic polio, hundreds of people may be infected." "Combined with the latest wastewater findings, the Department sees a single case of polio as just the tip of an iceberg that could have a much larger spread," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. As we learn more, it becomes clear what we do know: The polio danger exists in a new area, York today.” 

The Department of Health reiterated that it was still investigating the origin of the virus, linking it to other cases it said it was not yet clear whether it was an infected person in Rockland County. rice field.

Polio is a "serious, life-threatening disease," the state health department said. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted by people who do not yet have symptoms. Symptoms usually appear within he 30 days of infection and may be mild or flu-like. Before the polio vaccinewas introduced in his 1950s, thousands of Americans died of polio. The outbreak and tens of thousands, many of them children, left them paralyzed.

After a successful immunization campaign, the United States was officially declared polio-free in 1979. 

New Yorkers who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to get vaccinated immediately, the Department of Health said. Unvaccinated people living, working, or spending time in Rockland County, Orange County, and the New York metropolitan area are at greatest risk.

Most school-age children are vaccinated against polio. This is her 4-dose course starting between 6 weeks and 2 months, 1 at 4 months and 1 at 6 months to 12 months. According to the Department of Health, about 60% of children in Rockland County have had her three polio immunizations by her second birthday, and about 59% in Orange County have had her 79 polio shots statewide. %. 

According to the CDC's most recent childhood vaccination data, approximately 93% of her 2-year-olds in the United States had received at least her 3 doses of polio vaccine.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated adults will receive her three doses, and those who are vaccinated but at high risk may receive lifelong boosters, according to the Ministry of Health. can.

According to health officials, the vaccine is 99% effective in children who have received her full four doses.

"Polio is a disease that has been largely eradicated by vaccination, especially given the low immunization rates for this debilitating disease in certain areas of our county. It is a concern that it is prevalent in our community,” said Orange. County Health Commissioner Dr Irina Gelman said: "I urge all unvaccinated Orange County residents to get vaccinated as soon as medically possible."

Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Rupert also It issued a similar statement calling on unvaccinated people to get vaccinated "immediately".

Polio has rarely occurred in the United States since it was declared eradicated more than 40 years ago. The last reported case was brought in in 2013, according to the Associated Press.

Sophie Reardon

Sophie Reardon is a news editor for CBS News. [email protected]

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