“It is a dangerous disease with potentially devastating consequences”, which can cause irreversible paralysis and has no cure, warned health authorities.
The authorities of the state of New York, USA, detected the presence of polio virus in sewage from a suburb of the city shortly before a case was reported confirmed of the disease, according to reported this Monday by the state Department of Health.
The discovery of polio in samples collected in June means that the virus was present in the community already before the diagnosis of a Rockland County adult was made public on July 21.
So far no new cases have been identified, nor is it clear whether the virus is actively spreading in New York or elsewhere in the United States.
“Polio is a dangerous disease with potentially devastating consequences,” said Mary T. Bassett, Health Commissioner for he state. “Given how quickly it can spread, now is the time for all adults, parents and guardians to get themselves and their children vaccinated as soon as possible,” she said.
Poliomyelitis, which can cause irreversible paralysis in some cases, has no cure, but it can be prevented with a vaccine that has been available to the public since 1955. The New York health authorities announced that they are opening immunization centers to help protect unvaccinated residents from the disease.
The Department of Health of the State of New York reported told Reuters that for now he could not determine with certainty if the samples with the polio virus came from the case identified this July in Rockland County.
“When samples like these are identified, it raises concern about the potential of community spread, so it is vitally important that anyone who is not vaccinated, especially in the Rockland County area, get vaccinated as soon as possible,” the department warned.