New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday declared New York’s detection of the polio virus in Long Island sewage a public health emergency.
Hochul order an emergency expansion of the state’s polio vaccination efforts and announced that Nassau County had been added to the regions of the state testing for the spread of polio as the disease spreads, which is being blamed on low vaccination rates in children, the New York Post reported.
“Polio immunization is safe and effective – protecting nearly all people against disease who receive the recommended doses. Do not wait to vaccinate,” Hochul said.
“On polio, we simply cannot roll the dice,” New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a statement. “If you or your child are unvaccinated or not up to date with vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real.”
Hochul’s emergency order will expand the state’s vaccination drive by allowing parents to get children vaccinated without having to see a doctor. Pharmacists, paramedics and midwives will be able to deliver the vaccine.
The virus has also been found by public health officials in sewage systems in Upstate New York, including Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties.
State scientists announced that a genetic investigation of the sample of the virus taken in Nassau Country linked it to a case in Rockland.
In early August, the Polio virus was found in New York City’s sewage system, pointing to the local spread of the virus, health officials said.
The discovery was described as alarming by New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, according to CNBC.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)