NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York’s emergency order on polio is no longer needed, health officials said Monday.
The number of wastewater samples testing positive for polio has declined over time and the number of vaccinations against polio has increased, officials said. More than 46,000 polio vaccine doses have been administered to children 18 and younger since July.
“From the start, the State Department of Health – together with our partners at national and local levels – launched a focused, urgent response to protect New Yorkers against polio,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “That work – including enhanced clinical surveillance, nation-leading wastewater surveillance, and driving vaccinations in affected areas – is ongoing and will continue. Thanks to collaboration with CDC, local health departments, trusted health care providers, and community-based organizations, we have made progress – but the work to increase immunization rates and protect children from paralytic disease and other vaccine-preventable illnesses is ongoing. We are unwavering in our commitment to keep up efforts to build out long-term vaccination strategies.”
While the emergency order is no longer necessary, state officials said early detection efforts for polio, including wastewater surveillance, will stay in place. Some of those methods will stick around because of the seasonal nature of the virus. Polio historically slows down or disappears in the winter, then comes back in warmer months.