New York State Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Friday to contain a polio outbreak. She hopes this will free up enough resources to vaccinate more people against this virus.
Polio was detected in July in sewage samples from Rockland County, New York. In mid-August, the virus was also discovered in New York City. Since then, traces have also been found in the sewage of Orange and Sullivan.
New York State Health Services laments that not enough people are being vaccinated against the disease. By declaring a state of emergency, the governor hopes that more people will get vaccinated and that it will also be possible for caregivers, pharmacists and midwives to administer the serum.
The virus is also believed to be spreading globally. In the Jerusalem area, cases have been reported while traces of the virus have been detected in London’s sewage.
Polio, an incurable disease, can lead to paralysis but can easily be prevented with the vaccine. In Belgium, vaccination against polio is compulsory.