The polio virus can cause permanent paralysis of the limbs, even death in some cases.
Polio virus has been detected in New York City sewage , “suggesting the virus is likely circulating locally,” city health officials warned Friday, urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven't already.
The detection of polio virus in New York City sewage samples is concerning, but not surprising, state health official Mary Bassett said in a statement.
In mid-July, a case of polio was recorded in Rockland County, a few dozen kilometers north of Manhattan. It was the first case of polio in the country for almost a decade.
Traces of the virus had then already been found in the sewage of this county and another nearby.
For every case of the disease identified, several hundred could remain undetected, warned Mary Bassett. These people who do not develop symptoms can still transmit the disease.
Polio, an extremely contagious viral disease affecting children in particular, can cause permanent paralysis of the limbs and even death. in some cases.
The risk to New Yorkers is real, but defending yourself is so simple: Get your polio shot, City Hall Health Officer Ashwin Vasan called.
Only 86% of New York City children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years have received three doses of the vaccine, according to a statement from authorities, leaving some 14% not fully protected. /p>
A free or low-cost vaccination site has been set up for children.
Experts from the Centers for Prevention and Disease Control (CDC) have been dispatched to the state to assist with screening and vaccination operations.
The consequences of polio are devastating and irreversible, and these developments are cause for concern, the CDC wrote.
The disease has been virtually eradicated worldwide. But in June, British authorities announced that they had detected traces of a form of polio at a sewage treatment plant in north-east London. The vaccination of children has been reinforced there.