CDC deploys team to investigate Rockland County polio case and wastewater samples

Local health officials announced a local unvaccinated adult had contracted polio in July.

News 12 Staff

Aug 8, 2022, 10:17 AM

Updated 653 days ago


CDC deploys team to investigate Rockland County polio case and wastewater samples
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deployed a team to New York to investigate the state's one positive case of polio as well as waste water samples.
According to New York state health officials, there are possibly hundreds of people with polio in the Hudson Valley right now. That's because new wastewater testing shows the polio virus has been in both Rockland and Orange counties as early as June.
"Thankfully we have that wastewater surveillance data to give us a very early detection to prepare and hopefully contain any possibility of a broader outbreak," says says Dr. Irina Gelman, Orange County Health Commisioner.
So far, there are no confirmed positive cases in Orange County. Rockland's case was the first one in the nation in nearly a decade. The polio virus was found in an unvaccinated adult and that person suffered paralysis as a result.
The team from the CDC is expected to not only help with the investigation into the case and the wastewater samples but also with vaccination efforts. "We welcome the presence of the CDC. We're not trying to scare people, we want you to please make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations. Especially the little ones," says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
Health officials say fully vaccinated people are 99.9% protected from infection, that's why nearly three-quarters of those who get the virus are asymptomatic while the rest will usually have minor cold symptoms.
Statewide, about 79% have completed their polio vaccination series by age 2. In Orange County, that rate is 59%. In Rockland, it's 60%.
Day says to that it is easy to get the polio vaccine. You can reach out to your doctor or local health clinic, and there's a free vaccine clinic at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona.

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