Another day, another alarming health crisis, and this time New York State is officially on high alert following recent news of local polio cases. It was announced today that New York Governor Kathy Hochul has formally declared a state of emergency due to the growing outbreak of polio in the state.
@NYTimes reports, in an effort to slow the spread of the current polio outbreak that is polarizing the state, New York Governor Kathy Hochul officially declared a state of emergency. Under Governor Hochul’s order, emergency services workers, midwives and pharmacists have full authority to administer the polio vaccine. In addition, the state of emergency also includes requirements for local health care providers to submit all polio vaccination information to New York health officials to determine where further vaccination efforts are needed.
Speaking about the urgency and gravity of the polio outbreak, New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said: “On polio, we just can’t roll the dice. Don’t wait to vaccinate.” She will recall that the first case of polio in nearly 10 years was discovered in New York in July in an unvaccinated man in Rockland County, who was infected by someone who received an oral form of polio vaccine. However, it should be noted that oral polio vaccines have not been used in the US for the past 22 years.
Although oral forms of polio vaccine are considered safe to use, they contain small amounts of weakened poliovirus that have the ability to become strong and circulate among those who are not or only partially vaccinated.
In an even more shocking update, New York City officials also confirmed that polio was found in 57 city sewage samples between May and August, with the majority of the samples originating from Rockland County.