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Polio not detected in Ulster County

WTEN Albany 9/18/2022 Jessie House
Polio not detected in Ulster County © Provided by WTEN Albany Polio not detected in Ulster County

ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department Of Health (NYS DOH) and CDC tested two weeks of sample wastewater taken from Kingston and New Paltz. The results of these samples were negative for Poliovirus.

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Poliovirus testing will now continue to be a regular part of surveillance in Kingston and New Paltz. Commission Dr. Carol Smith states, “The recent polio case that was diagnosed in New York State occurred in an unvaccinated person. In general, communicable disease outbreaks occur in those locations that have below-average child vaccination rates," "While the polio testing results for Ulster County are negative, it doesn’t mean that our community is immune from polio in the long term. Getting all of your children vaccinated is the best and only way to protect them from this serious disease. We urge every person to check with their physician's office, to make sure that everyone in the family is up to date with polio, and all other essential vaccinations.”

In New York State, wastewater is now being tested for the presence of the virus that causes polio. This is done by collecting wastewater samples from community wastewater treatment plants and sending them to laboratories to measure the amount of the virus in the sample. This method ensures individual privacy and anonymity because samples cannot be traced back to any individual or household. Positive results for polio detected in the wastewater only indicate that the virus is present in the community and does not indicate how many people are actually infected with the virus.

Hochul declares polio emergency in New York after more virus found in wastewater

In accordance with CDC, the polio immunization schedule by age is as follows:

  • All children should get 4 doses of the polio vaccine. The first dose should be given at 6 weeks through 2 months of age, followed by one dose given at 4 months of age, 6 through 18 months old, and 4 through 6 years old.
  • Adults who have only had 1 or 2 doses of the polio vaccine in the past should get the remaining 1 or 2 doses – it does not matter how long it has been since the earlier doses.
  • In addition, adults who live or work in the areas where poliovirus has been detected (Rockland County, Orange County, New York City, Sullivan County, and Nassau County) and don’t believe they are vaccinated should get vaccinated.

New Yorkers can learn more about polio and polio immunization here. Information about wastewater surveillance and results is available here.

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