Polio detected in Sullivan County, New York - report

The polio virus has now been found in wastewater from three New York counties – Sullivan, Rockland and Orange – as well as in New York City.

Electron micrograph of the polio virus (photo credit: CDC/DR. FRED MURPHY/SYLVIA WHITFIELD/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Electron micrograph of the polio virus
(photo credit: CDC/DR. FRED MURPHY/SYLVIA WHITFIELD/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The New York Department of Health on Friday said that the polio virus was identified in four samples taken in July and August from Sullivan County, northwest of Rockland County, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

On July 21, officials announced that they had identified a case of polio in Rockland County, the first case of the disease in the United States in almost a decade. The affected patient was unvaccinated, according to the report.

AP added that the samples found in Sullivan County are genetically linked to the Rockland County case and that the virus has now been found in wastewater from three New York counties – Sullivan, Rockland and Orange – as well as New York City.

Most people infected with polio, which mostly affects children and can cause paralysis, usually do not have symptoms and can spread the disease to others. Officials said that hundreds of New Yorkers may have been infected without even knowing it, according to the AP report.

‘Imminent threat’

New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said that polio is an “imminent threat to all adults and children who are unvaccinated or not up to date with their polio immunizations,” according to CNN.

A photomicrograph of skeletal muscle tissue revealing myotonic dystrophic changes as a result of Polio Type III (credit: CDC/DR. KARP/EMORY UNIVERSITY/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)A photomicrograph of skeletal muscle tissue revealing myotonic dystrophic changes as a result of Polio Type III (credit: CDC/DR. KARP/EMORY UNIVERSITY/PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

“Every New Yorker, parent, guardian, and pediatrician must do everything possible to ensure that they, their children, and their patients are protected against this dangerous, debilitating disease through safe and effective vaccination.”

Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Health Commissioner, New York State

“Every New Yorker, parent, guardian, and pediatrician must do everything possible to ensure that they, their children, and their patients are protected against this dangerous, debilitating disease through safe and effective vaccination,” she said.