/  08.03.2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the presence of the polio virus was detected in wastewater samples collected from Rockland County. On (July 21), government officials reported the first case of the virus in the United States in nearly a decade.

The unidentified young adult was diagnosed with polio, but strains of the virus have been genetically linked to samples found in the Rockland wastewater, London, and Jerusalem. According to the CDC, the water samples prove there may be more people in the community with the virus, but there aren’t any confirmed cases. The organization stated, “However, it’s important to note that we don’t have enough information at this time to determine if the virus is actively spreading in New York or elsewhere in the U.S., and no additional cases have been identified.”

Health officials say the unnamed Rockland County resident contracted a “vaccine-derived” strain of the virus. Meaning, that someone who received a live vaccine – which is available in other countries, not the United States – is spreading the deadly virus. The discovery prompted a local vaccination drive. New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “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.”

Speaking on the polio confirmation, Bassett strongly urged community residents to get vaccinated or booster shots. To be clear, the U.S. vaccination doesn’t contain any active viruses. “Based on what we know about this case, and polio in general, the Department of Health strongly recommends that unvaccinated individuals get vaccinated or boosted with the FDA-approved IPV polio vaccine as soon as possible,” the commissioner shared. Similar to COVID-19 and now the monkeypox virus, polio was once the nation’s most feared disease. But the United States declared the virus was eliminated in 1979, 20 years after a vaccine became available.

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