Polio found in New York City’s sewage system points to the local spread of the virus, health officials said on Friday.
The discovery was described as alarming by New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, according to CNBC.
Bassett said that local and federal health officials were determining how serious the spread in the city and New York State was.
“For every one case of paralytic polio identified, hundreds more may be undetected,” Bassett said. ”The best way to keep adults and children polio-free is through safe and effective immunization.”
New York State health official said in July that an unvaccinated adult in Rockland County contracted polio and suffered paralysis. Polio was then found in sewage in the New York City suburbs of Rockland County and Orange County.
Officials could not pinpoint the path of transmission but determined that sewage samples pointed to a local spread of the virus through metro New York City.
Health officials said polio vaccinations among children in New York City have decreased since 2019, increasing the risk of contracting the illness.