Polio Cases Could Be Linked To Afghani Refugees Settled In New York

The CDC sent a team to New York City to investigate a definite polio case in that state. The group would also assist in the immunization effort. Meanwhile, health officials in New York State issued an even more urgent plea on Thursday that unvaccinated children and adults be vaccinated against polio, citing new evidence that there may be a “community spread” of the dangerous virus. Health officials said polio has now been detected in seven different sewage samples from two surrounding counties north of New York.

Polio had been eliminated from the U.S. for decades, the virus was primarily active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the past year, cases have appeared in New York City and England. The quick exit of tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan into Britain and the US may have played a part in this re-emergence in areas where the disease was previously eradicated.

So far, only one person has tested positive for polio — an unvaccinated adult from Rockland County who has suffered paralysis. But based on earlier outbreaks of the disease, “New Yorkers need to know that for every paralytic polio case observed, hundreds more people could become infected,” the states health commissioner, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, said in a statement. “Combined with recent findings about wastewater, the department is treating the one polio case as only the tip of an iceberg with far greater potential for transmission,” she said.

“As we learn more, what we know is clear: The risk of polio is here today in New York. We need to address that moment by making sure adults, including pregnant women and infants two months old, are up-to-date on immunizations — the most protective defenses against this debilitating virus every New Yorker needs. . The Rockland County polio patient is the first known to have contracted the virus in the United States in almost a decade.

Wastewater samples collected in June and July from nearby Orange County also contained the virus.

  1. Health Officials Warn Of Potential Polio Outbreak  TODAY
  2. Hundreds May Have Polio, New York Health Officials Say  msnNOW
  3. CDC sends team to investigate Rockland County polio case, to help with vaccines  WABC-TV
  4. Hudson Valley Polio Case May Be ‘Tip Of Iceberg,’ State Health Commissioner Warns  Daily Voice
  5. Hundreds may have contracted polio after the virus was detected in wastewater, New York Health Department warns  Yahoo News