Health · August 5, 2022

Top health official: New York treats polio case as ‘tip of iceberg’

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New York’s health commissioner said Thursday that the state is treating its only case of polio – the first patients known to be infected with the virus in the United States in nearly a decade – as “just the tip of the iceberg.” ” treated.

“Based on past polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for every case of paralytic polio observed, hundreds of other people may be infected,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett in a statement.

“In conjunction with the latest understanding of wastewater, the department is treating the individual case of polio as just the tip of the iceberg with a much larger potential spread. As we learn more, what we know will become clear: the danger of polio is present in New We must meet this moment by making sure adults, including pregnant people, and young children as young as 2 months old are up to date with their vaccination Stand are — the surefire shield against this debilitating virus that every New Yorker needs,” she said.

The State Department of Health said that after identifying polio in Rockland County, the virus was also detected in sewage samples from Orange County and Rockland County.

NY POLIO FEARS INCREASING POSSIBLE “SPREAD” OF DANGEROUS VIRUS IN THE COMMUNITY

This 1964 microscope image, provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows poliovirus damage to human spinal cord tissue.

This 1964 microscope image, provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows poliovirus damage to human spinal cord tissue.
(Dr. Karp/Emory University/CDC via AP)

Officials have found seven positive samples from Rockland County and Orange County that are genetically linked to the previously identified case of paralytic polio.

“These results provide further evidence of local – not international – transmission of a poliovirus that can cause debilitation and potential community spread, and underscore the urgency for every adult and child in New York to be vaccinated, particularly in the New York metro area York.” The department wrote.

Investigations into the origin of the virus are ongoing.

This 2014 illustration, provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows a poliovirus particle.  On Thursday, July 21, 2022.

This 2014 illustration, provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows a poliovirus particle. On Thursday, July 21, 2022.
(Sarah Poser, Meredith Boyter Newlove/CDC via AP)

NEW YORK COUNTY OFFICIAL URGES RESIDENTS TO GET VACCINATED AFTER FIRST CASE OF POLIO

All unvaccinated New Yorkers should be vaccinated immediately, with residents of these boroughs and the New York metropolitan area at highest risk of exposure.

FILE - Parents and their children wait in long lines outside a Syracuse school to receive Sabin's oral polio vaccine on August 29, 1961.

FILE – Parents and their children wait in long lines outside a Syracuse school to receive Sabin’s oral polio vaccine on August 29, 1961.
(AP photo, file)

While there is no cure for polio, it is preventable through vaccination.

Polio is very contagious, and a person can transmit the virus even if they are not sick.

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Symptoms can take up to 30 days to appear, and some cases can result in paralysis or death.