Senior health official: New York sees polio case as ‘tip of the iceberg’

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New York’s health commissioner said Thursday the state is treating him single case of poliomyelitis — the first patient known to have been infected with the virus in the US in nearly a decade — as “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Based on earlier outbreaks of polio, New Yorkers should know that for every observed case of paralytic polio, there could be hundreds of other infected people,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. This is stated in a statement by Mary T. Bassett.

“Combined with the latest findings on wastewater, the Department is cleaning up single case of polio as just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger potential distribution. If we learn more, then what we know becomes clear: the danger of polio is present in New York today. We must meet this moment by ensuring adults, including pregnant women, and young children as young as 2 months of age are aware of their immunizations—the safe protection against this debilitating virus that every New Yorker needs,” she said.

The state health department said that after the discovery of polio in Rockland County, the virus was also found in sewage samples from Orange and Rockland counties.

POLIO FEARS GROW IN NEW YORK OVER POSSIBLE “COMMUNITY SPREAD” OF DANGEROUS VIRUS

This microscopic image from 1964, provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows damage to human spinal cord tissue by the polio virus.

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

Officials found seven positive samples from Rockland and Orange counties that are genetically linked to a previously identified individual case of paralytic polio.

“These findings provide further evidence of local rather than international transmission of the polio virus, which can cause paralysis and potential community spread, highlighting the urgent need to vaccinate every adult and child in New York, especially those in large metropolitan area of ​​New York“, the department wrote.

Investigation virus origin constant

This 2014 illustration from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a polio virus particle.  Thursday, July 21, 2022

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

NEW YORK COUNTY OFFICER URGES RESIDENTS TO GET VACCINED AFTER FIRST CASE OF POLIO IN YEARS

All unvaccinated New Yorkers should be immunized immediately, with residents in these counties and New York metropolitan areas at greatest risk of infection.

FILE - Parents and their children queue long outside a Syracuse school to get Sabin's oral polio vaccine, August.  29, 1961.

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

Although there is no cure for polio, it can be prevented through immunization.

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

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