By Kanishka Singh
Aug 12 (Reuters) – Health authorities have identified the virus that causes polio in New York City sewage, suggesting local transmission, officials said on Friday, urging unvaccinated New Yorkers to get immunized.
“The New York City Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health have identified poliovirus in New York City sewage, suggesting local transmission of the virus,” the Department of Health said on Friday. city health department in a statement.
The identification comes weeks after an adult case of polio was made public in Rockland County on July 21, marking the first confirmed case in the country in nearly 10 years.
Earlier this month, health officials said the virus had been found in suburban New York sewage a month before health officials announced the Rockland County case.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said then that it was not yet clear whether the virus was actively spreading in New York or elsewhere in the country.
There is no cure for polio, which can cause irreversible paralysis in some cases. But it can be prevented with a vaccine that has been available since 1955.
Poliomyelitis is usually asymptomatic and people can transmit the virus even though they do not appear to be sick. However, it can produce mild, flu-like symptoms that can take up to 30 days to appear, according to authorities.
It can affect people of any age, but most of those affected are children three years old or younger. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)