New York Declares State Of Emergency Over Polio
New York Declares State Of Emergency As Polio Continues To Spread
New York officials have declared a state of emergency over polio as the virus was detected in wastewater samples in a fourth county – just two months after the state confirmed the first case on US soil in close to a decade.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Friday that she had issued a month-long disaster declaration for the state in an attempt to bolster vaccination rates against the virus.
The move came just hours after officials in Nassau County confirmed that they had detected positive traces of the poliovirus in its sewage samples. This is now the fourth county where the paralysing virus has been found, joining Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties as well as New York City – and bolstering concerns that it is spreading across the Empire State.
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The state first began investigating the possible presence of polio in wastewater when an unvaccinated adult male contracted the virus back in July and became paraylsed.
Under the emergency order, the governor will be able to boost vaccination efforts across the state, including expanding rollout to include pharmacists, midwives and EMS workers. Healthcare providers will also be required to pass vaccine data to the state.
State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett urged unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“The polio in New York today is an imminent threat to all adults and children who are unvaccinated or not up to date with their polio immunizations,” she said in a statement. “On polio, we simply cannot roll the dice. If you or your child are unvaccinated or not up to date with vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real.”
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