NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York State’s polio emergency declaration has been extended, as the city’s health commissioner was set to provide an update on the situation Wednesday.

Calling the poliovirus an “imminent threat” to New York, state and city health officials announced the extension of the declaration on Tuesday. Officials say that that extension allows the state to continue to maximize its resources to inoculate more New Yorkers against the disease, which could cause paralysis or death.

Polio is a disease that attacks the nervous system. It can be life-threatening and extremely contagious. While only one polio patient has been identified so far, the virus has been detected in sewage samples in the New York area, including recently in Brooklyn and Queens.

Health officials say that those vaccinated as children don’t need to get vaccinated again, but that unimmunized adults and under-immunized children should get the shot immediately.

In a joint statement, State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett and her New York City counterpart, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said, “The latest results are a searing reminder that there is no time to waste, especially for young children, who must be brought up to date with vaccinations right away. Paralysis changes life forever. Fortunately, the response is simple: get vaccinated against polio.” 

They added that for those who are not fully immunized, “the poliovirus in New York today is an imminent threat.” Health officials say that those most at risk are those who live or work in Rockland, Orange, and Sullivan counties, as well as New York City. Wastewater surveillance is ongoing, they added.

Vasan is expected to provide an update Wednesday morning in Queens on the fight against polio, as well as monkeypox and COVID-19.