Intended for healthcare professionals


Polio emergency declared in New York State over virus found in wastewater

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 12 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o2211
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

New York State governor Kathy Hochul has declared a disaster in the state following the recent detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples from areas in and around New York City.

A single case of paralytic polio was identified in a young unvaccinated man living in Rockland County, north of New York City, on 21 July.1 The New York State Department of Health said the man contacted the virus through local transmission.2 Polio was declared eradicated in the US in 1979 because of high vaccination rates against the virus.

The declaration of a state disaster emergency on 9 September increases the availability of resources to protect people in the state. The order authorised emergency medical service workers, midwives, and pharmacists to administer polio vaccines as well …

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