CDC Issues Warning as New Data Shows Scope of Polio Spread in NYC Area

About 8% of wastewater samples tested in a 13-county area around New York City in recent months came back positive for polio, the CDC said Friday, indicating sustained community transmission of the virus in the region.

The testing follows the discovery of a case of paralytic polio in an unvaccinated Rockland County man this summer. Thus far, he is the only known case – but the data published Friday make clear the virus has spread widely.

Between March 9 and October 11, researchers collected 1,076 wastewater samples from 48 sites covering 13 counties in the region. Of those, 89 samples, or 8.3% of the total, tested positive for poliovirus type 2.

“Although most persons in the United States are sufficiently immunized, unvaccinated or undervaccinated persons living or working in Kings, Orange, Queens, Rockland, or Sullivan counties, New York should complete the polio vaccination series as soon as possible,” the researchers wrote.


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