A statement from State Senator Anna Kaplan announced that Polio had been detected in Nassau County prompting New York State Governor Kathy Hochul today to issue an Executive Order declaring a State Disaster Emergency, increasing the availability of resources to protect New Yorkers against paralytic disease.
On Friday, New York State Department of Health officials said that poliovirus had been detected in wastewater coming from the Port Washington peninsula in Nassau County, suggesting local circulation of the virus. This discovery follows similar news recently in New York City and several upstate counties, according to the statement.
“It's important to note that there are no identified cases in our community, but these results do suggest community spread,” said Kaplan. “At this time, the only identified case of polio in New York State is in an unvaccinated resident of Rockland County.”
Polio is a serious and life threatening disease that can affect the nervous system and lead to paralysis or death in serious cases. There is no cure for polio, but it is preventable through safe and effective vaccination.
"On polio, we simply cannot roll the dice," State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "If you or your child are unvaccinated or not up to date with vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real.”
Dr. Bassett said that polio immunization is “safe and effective – protecting nearly all people against disease who receive the recommended doses.”
"Do not wait to vaccinate,” she added. “If you are unsure of you or your families' vaccination status, contact a healthcare provider, clinic, or local county health department to make sure you and your loved ones receive all recommended doses.”
More information is available on the New York State Department of Health website.