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News Scan for Aug 05, 2022

Wastewater polio in second New York county points to wider circulation

Polio in New York state is circulating more widely than thought, with wastewater sampling revealing traces of the virus in a second county, the New York Department of Health (NYDH) announced yesterday.

Positive samples were detected from two geographic locations in June and July in Orange County, which is located north of the New York City metro area. Also, samples have been detected from July in wastewater in Rockland County, which is part of the metro area and where a confirmed case and positive June wastewater samples were reported earlier.

Sequencing done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on three wastewater samples from Rockland County and four wastewater samples from Rockland County show that they are genetically linked to the virus found in the Rockland County resident. The patient was reported earlier to be man who sought treatment for weakness and paralysis. Officials have also said that the man's samples are linked to Sabin-like type 2 isolated detected in environmental samples from Jerusalem and London, though the findings don't imply that that the man had traveled to either of the locations.

The health department said the findings in the two counties show evidence of local transmission.

Mary Bassett, MD, New York's health commissioner, said the single case detected is just the tip of the iceberg. "Based on earlier polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know that for every one case of paralytic polio observed, there may be hundreds of other people infected," she said, urging adults and young children to get up to date with their polio immunizations.

Officials said the environmental findings don't implicate the Rockland County

Department Health reports

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