ALBANY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A case of polio was identified last month in New York State sparking a response from the New York State Department of Health. The NYSDOH launched wastewater surveillance, among other efforts, to check for signs of the virus. The Polio virus was detected in samples from June in Rockland County following analysis from the CDC. The findings underscore the importance of vaccination to protect all New Yorkers and New York children against polio.
“Polio is a dangerous disease with potentially devastating consequences,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “In the United States, we are so fortunate to have available the crucial protection offered through polio vaccination, which has safeguarded our country and New Yorkers for over 60 years. Given how quickly polio can spread, now is the time for every adult, parent, and guardian to get themselves and their children vaccinated as soon as possible.”
“All New Yorkers who are unvaccinated, including children 2 months and older, those who are pregnant, and people who have not completed their polio vaccine series previously, should get vaccinated right away,” say New York State Officials. “Unvaccinated New Yorkers who live, work, go to school in, or visit Rockland County are at the highest risk of exposure. Rockland County currently has a polio vaccination rate of 60.5% among two year-olds compared to the statewide average of 79.1%”
Polio is a serious and life-threatening disease that is very contagious. An individual can transmit the virus even if they are not sick. Symptoms can be mild and flu-like and take up to 30 days to appear. Some polio cases can result in paralysis or death.
Learn more about polio and the polio vaccine here: health.ny.gov/polio