(NewsNation) — Health officials are warning that hundreds of people may be infected after detecting polio in waste water from two different treatment plants in New York.
So far, the only confirmed case of polio was detected on July 21 in an unvaccinated patient from Rockland County. He needed to be hospitalized and experienced some paralysis.
Rockland County is known to have very low vaccinations and it has been the epicenter of other outbreaks.
The way to stop the spread of polio is for everyone to be vaccinated, according to Dr. Amesh Adalja.
“If you’re vaccinated, that’s the best way to protect yourself against polio,” Adalja said during an appearance Friday night on “NewsNation Prime.” “It’s sad that we’re seeing the levels of polio vaccination decline in the United States.”
Polio symptoms, according to WHO
- Highly infectious disease caused by virus
- Total paralysis in a matter of hours
- Fever fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of neck and pain in limbs
- No cure, can only be prevented
The wastewater surveillance suggests that the virus will spread among unvaccinated counties.
“This is not a disease to fool with. This is something that’s been eliminated from many parts of the world, and I think that we really have to underscore the fact that we live in luxury that we don’t think about polio. But it’s only a couple of low vaccination rates counties away from being an issue in certain parts of the country,” Adalja added.