Loading...

Polio Detected in NYC’s Sewage, Suggesting Virus Circulating

August 12, 2022by Karen Matthews and Mike Stobbe, Associated Press
This 2014 illustration made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention depicts a polio virus particle. (Sarah Poser, Meredith Boyter Newlove/CDC via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn’t been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said Friday.

The presence of the poliovirus in the city’s wastewater suggests likely local circulation of the virus, the city and New York state health departments said.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said the detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming but not surprising.

“The risk to New Yorkers is real but the defense is so simple — get vaccinated against polio,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a statement. “With polio circulating in our communities there is simply nothing more essential than vaccinating our children to protect them from this virus, and if you’re an unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adult, please choose now to get the vaccine. Polio is entirely preventable and its reappearance should be a call to action for all of us.”

New York City is being forced to confront polio as city health officials are struggling to vaccinate vulnerable populations against monkeypox and adjusting to changing COVID-19 guidelines.

“We are dealing with a trifecta,” Mayor Eric Adams said Friday on CNN. “COVID is still very much here. Polio, we have identified polio in our sewage, and we’re still dealing with the monkeypox crisis. But the team is there. And we’re coordinating and we’re addressing the threats as they come before us, and we’re prepared to deal with them with the assistance of Washington, D.C.”

The announcement about the discovery of the polio virus in New York City comes shortly after British health authorities reported finding evidence the virus has spread in London but found no cases in people. Children ages 1-9 in London were made eligible for booster doses of a polio vaccine Wednesday.

In New York, one person suffered paralysis weeks ago because of a polio infection in Rockland County, north of the city. Wastewater samples collected in June in both Rockland and adjacent Orange County were found to contain the virus.

Most people infected with polio have no symptoms but can still give the virus to others for days or weeks. Vaccination offers strong protection and authorities urged people who haven’t gotten the shots to seek one immediately.

Based on past outbreaks, it is possible that hundreds of people in the state have gotten polio and don’t know it, officials said.

Polio was once one of the nation’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis. The disease mostly affects children.

Vaccines became available starting in 1955, and a national vaccination campaign cut the annual number of U.S. cases to less than 100 in the 1960s and fewer than 10 in the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A small percentage of people who polio suffer paralysis. The disease is fatal for between 5-10% of those paralyzed.

All schoolchildren in New York are required to have a polio vaccine, but Rockland and Orange counties are both known as centers of vaccine resistance.

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

October 5, 2022
by Dan McCue
Senators Laud DOD for Imposing Anti-PFAS Procurement Rules

WASHINGTON — The lead Senate sponsors of the PFAS Free Military Purchasing Act this week lauded the Department of Defense’s... Read More

WASHINGTON — The lead Senate sponsors of the PFAS Free Military Purchasing Act this week lauded the Department of Defense’s recent decision to make its own stand against the proliferation of so-called “forever chemicals.” Late last month, the Defense Department issued a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation... Read More

October 5, 2022
by TWN Staff
Your Medications May Be Hurting Your Teeth

WASHINGTON — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly seven in 10 adults between the ages of... Read More

WASHINGTON — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly seven in 10 adults between the ages of 40 and 79 used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days in the United States, and approximately one in five used at least... Read More

October 5, 2022
by TWN Staff
NIH Awards Over $200 Million to Support Biomedical Research

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health has awarded 103 new research grants, totaling some $285 million, to support highly... Read More

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health has awarded 103 new research grants, totaling some $285 million, to support highly innovative scientists who propose visionary and broadly impactful meritorious behavioral and biomedical research projects. The 2022 NIH Director’s Awards are bestowed through the institute’s High-Risk, High-Reward... Read More

October 5, 2022
by TWN Staff
Study Finds Viagra and Cialis Do Not Reduce Alzheimer’s, Dementia Risk

WASHINGTON — Despite the results of a previous study, sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) may not be suitable candidates for... Read More

WASHINGTON — Despite the results of a previous study, sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) may not be suitable candidates for treating dementia, according to the National Institutes of Health. The institute recently delved into the situation with its Drug Repurposing for Effective Alzheimer's Medicines study. In... Read More

October 5, 2022
by TWN Staff
US Sees Increase in Respiratory Infections That Can Cause Paralysis in Children

ATLANTA — Doctors should be on the lookout for a possible increase in enterovirus D68, a respiratory infection that may... Read More

ATLANTA — Doctors should be on the lookout for a possible increase in enterovirus D68, a respiratory infection that may be linked to more cases of the rare, paralyzing condition acute flaccid myelitis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week. The CDC has... Read More

October 5, 2022
by Dan McCue
Study Could Change Design of Cochlear Implants

PORTLAND, Ore. — The cochlea in the inner ear detects low-frequency sound in a manner very different than previously known,... Read More

PORTLAND, Ore. — The cochlea in the inner ear detects low-frequency sound in a manner very different than previously known, a discovery that may make it possible to design better cochlear implants for people with hearing impairments. The finding is the result of research from scientists... Read More

News From The Well