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Poliovirus is spreading in New York – Here’s what you need to know

A type of poliovirus is circulating in the United States. It has been identified in wastewater in three counties: Rockland, Orange and Sullivan. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a state of disaster in response. 

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that the nation has joined a group of around 30 other countries where the virus’s spread has been detected.

The CDC was first notified of a case of paralytic polio in an unvaccinated adult in Rockland County, New York, in July. The CDC is currently investigating the extent of the virus’ spread and working with state and local health departments to ensure that all necessary precautions are being taken. 

What is Poliovirus?

Poliovirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause paralysis, respiratory failure, and even death. The virus primarily affects children under the age of five. 

How is Poliovirus Spread?

The virus is typically spread through contaminated water or food. However, it can also spread through close contact with an infected person, such as coughing or sneezing. 

What are the Symptoms of Poliovirus?

Symptoms of poliovirus usually appear three to 21 days after infection. The most common symptoms include fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, and stomach pain. In some cases, the virus can cause paralysis, which is often permanent. 

How Can I Prevent Poliovirus?

The best way to prevent poliovirus is to get vaccinated. Vaccination rates in the United States are high, but they have been waning recently. According to the CDC, around 60 per cent of people in the affected counties have been vaccinated against poliovirus. 

If you have not been vaccinated against poliovirus, it is vital to do so as soon as possible. The virus is highly contagious and can cause serious health complications, especially in young children. Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection, so you should check with your local health department to see if any clinics in your area offer them.



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