NASA COUNTY, LONG ISLAND (WABC) — Nassau is the latest county in the state to find polio in sewage — indicating community transmission.
Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency amid “evidence of widespread polio.”
The notification will allow multiple types of providers, like pharmacists, to dispense polio vaccine.
It does not mean there is an outbreak. But if an outbreak does occur, it means the vaccine will prevent any further spread.
Polio was previously detected in sewage collected in Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties and New York City.
Strains recovered from sewage in the previous three counties and NYC were all genetically linked to the state’s only known case of polio — a Rockland County resident.
During a press conference Friday, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman insisted there are no cases of polio in the county.
“I don’t want to scare anybody, there have been no cases of polio detected in this region or in Nassau County,” Blakeman said. “No one should panic, there is no crisis at this time, there are no polio cases in Nassau County.”
Polio fibers were detected during routine wastewater testing for various viruses, including the coronavirus. These tests have been conducted for the last 2 years due to the corona virus infection.
“They’re important because they allow us to determine if people have a spike before they actually have symptoms and report it to their doctors, so it saves days when we can prepare,” Blakeman said. .
Traces of poliovirus were found in the North Shore area, which includes Manhasset, Port Washington, Rosslyn and Glenwood Landing.
A sample was taken at a local wastewater facility and sent to the state.
This could mean one of two things — if someone recently received the oral vaccine, it turns out in the sewage that traces of the US virus are not found.
“If we have tests that are consistently positive, that will give us an idea if it’s an ongoing situation or if it’s just a test,” said acting Nassau County Health Commissioner Andrew Knecht.
The other possibility is that someone out there has the virus and is not reporting it because they are asymptomatic.
“About 74% of people have no symptoms,” Knecht said. “So, it’s possible and people should be aware of what their vaccination status is because that’s the only way to protect yourself.”
The health department has urged those who do not do so to get polio drops. Nassau County officials said they are making calls with the state and the CDC to make sure the county has enough vaccine so anyone who doesn’t have one can get one right away.
Polio vaccinations for young children are low in all affected districts.
In children who received polio vaccine before their second birthday:
-Rockland County has a polio vaccination rate of 60.34%
– Orange district has a polio vaccination rate of 58.68%
The polio vaccination rate in Sullivan District is 62.33%
-Nassau County has a polio vaccination rate of 79.15%, compared to a statewide average of 78.96%.
Corresponding | Polio: What to know about the signs and symptoms of the virus?
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