(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday it would expand poliovirus testing in wastewater in areas with low vaccine coverage or in counties linked to a case in New York.
Finding poliovirus in sewage or sewage indicates that someone in the community is spreading the virus.
Strategic use of testing, starting at least every four months, will help determine whether poliovirus is present in other parts of the country. The CDC said it could be used to target vaccination efforts and rapidly improve local polio vaccine coverage if needed.
In July, the first confirmed case of polio in the United States in nearly a decade appeared in an adult in Rockland County, New York.
Poliomyelitis can cause irreversible paralysis in some cases, but it can be prevented by vaccination. Although there is no known cure, three doses of the vaccine provide at least 99% protection.
The Michigan State Department of Health and the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health are the first places to explore plans to begin collecting wastewater samples from specific communities for analysis at the CDC’s polio lab, the agency said.
(Reporting by Raghav Mahobe in Bengaluru)
((Translated by Redação São Paulo, 5511 56447702)) REUTERS AC
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