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Poliovirus detected in New York Metropolis wastewater

Lower than a month after a polio case was identified in New York for the primary time in virtually a decade, researchers in New York detected the presence of the poliovirus in wastewater samples.

Picture Credit score: Kateryna Kon /

Polio case recognized in New York

On July 21, 2022, a resident of Rockland County, New York, examined constructive for the poliovirus, which was the primary time in virtually ten years that the virus had been detected in the US. Though public well being officers are nonetheless not sure of the place the person had contracted the illness, they imagine that the contaminated particular person had beforehand interacted with somebody who had acquired the oral polio vaccine. Importantly, this particular person didn’t have any prior historical past of journey exterior of the US throughout the transmission window.

An unvaccinated one that is uncovered to the poliovirus, even in a weakened type, can nonetheless turn into contaminated. Since as much as 95% of people contaminated with poliovirus will stay asymptomatic, it has been difficult to establish doubtlessly contaminated people.

Polio detected in New York wastewater

Not too long ago, the New York State Division of Well being (NYSDOH) and the New York Metropolis Division of Well being and Psychological Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) printed their findings confirming the presence of poliovirus in two sewage samples collected in June, in addition to 4 collected in July in New York Metropolis.

Though the virus was beforehand detected in wastewater samples from Rockland and Orange Counties in New York, this was the primary time that its presence was confirmed in New York Metropolis wastewater. Importantly, all 20 wastewater samples from Rockland and Orange Counties that had been constructive for the poliovirus had been genetically much like the pressure that was identified within the aforementioned Rockland County resident.

This report signifies that a number of tons of of individuals are prone to be contaminated with the poliovirus in these areas. This estimate is predicated on how many individuals would should be contaminated with the poliovirus for there to be a single case of paralytic polio recognized in Rockland County.

An outline of polio

Poliovirus is a nonenveloped, positive-sense, and single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus that may be a member of the Enterovirus genus throughout the Picornaviridae household. The commonest route of publicity to the poliovirus is thru the mouth, sometimes from palms which were contaminated with the fecal matter of an contaminated individual; nonetheless, respiratory and oral-to-oral transmission can also be doable.

Following an infection with the extremely contagious poliovirus, the preliminary signs can resemble these generally noticed with the flu. These could embrace fatigue, fever, headache, congestion, muscle ache, and vomiting.

Though these signs will sometimes resolve inside 30 days, uncommon extreme types of the illness can result in paralysis and/or loss of life. Importantly, an contaminated particular person can proceed to unfold the virus to others throughout this symptomatic interval.

Polio vaccination

The oral polio vaccine, which accommodates a weakened model of the dwell virus, has not been administered in the US since 2000. However, this model of the vaccine is protected and administered in lots of nations all through the world.

In New York Metropolis, about 86% of people aged 5 and older are utterly vaccinated towards polio, with most adults having been immunized as youngsters. The present polio vaccination schedule really useful by the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) features a whole of 4 polio vaccine doses which might be administered at two months outdated, 4 months outdated, between six and 18 months outdated, and between 4 and 6 years of age.

Notably, people who’ve acquired not less than three doses of the present vaccine exhibit not less than 99% safety towards extreme illness.


Regardless of the a number of a long time of analysis supporting the security and efficacy of present poliovirus vaccines, many vaccine-hesitant mother and father have declined to immunize their youngsters or follow a “delayed vaccine schedule.” Thus, these youngsters, in addition to people who stay unvaccinated as adults, are at important threat of an infection, significantly if the virus stays in circulation.  

The New York Metropolis Well being Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan emphasised the significance of vaccination, significantly in mild of the possible native circulation of this virus.

The chance to New Yorkers is actual however the protection is so easy – get vaccinated towards polio.”

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