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New York, Israel and UK Polio Samples Linked

August 1, 2022 • 3:46 pm CDT
by Fernando Zhiminaicela
(Vax Before Travel)

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced that poliovirus was detected in Rockland County, NY, in wastewater samples collected in June 2022.

As part of ongoing surveillance efforts, New York wastewater samples are shared with the Global Polio Laboratory Network, which confirmed that the case in Rockland County is genetically linked to two Sabin-like type 2 (SL2) isolates collected from samples in Israel as well as to the recently-detected VDPV2 from environmental samples in London, UK.

New Yorkers should know that this does not imply that the individual case identified in New York has a travel history to Israel or the UK.

NYSDOH stated on August 1, 2022, that it continues to work with global, national, and local public health authorities to aggressively assess the spread of the poliovirus and ensure prevention measures, particularly vaccination clinics, are activated.

Rockland County currently has a polio vaccination rate of about 60% among two-year-olds compared to the statewide average of 79.1% in NY.

Polio is a severe and life-threatening disease, says the U.S. CDC.

The poliovirus is very contagious; individuals can transmit it even if they aren't sick.

Symptoms, which can be mild and flu-like, can take up to 30 days to appear, during which time an infected individual can be shedding the virus to others.

Some polio cases can result in paralysis or death.

While there is no treatment or cure for polio, it is preventable through safe and effective vaccination.

Any form of poliovirus anywhere in the world threatens children everywhere, says the WHO. 

It is critical that the GPEI Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026 is fully resourced and fully implemented to ensure a world free of all forms of poliovirus.

The CDC encourages pre-departure vaccinations for people visiting polio-endemic countries.

Polio vaccination news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.

Note: The NY announcement was manually curated for international travelers.

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