While many people infected with polio have no symptoms, about 4 percent will develop viral meningitis and about one in 200 will become paralyzed, health authorities say. Health authorities urged parents of children who had not yet been fully vaccinated to take them to their pediatrician.
“The risk to New Yorkers is real, but the defense is so simple — get vaccinated against polio,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, New York City’s health commissioner. “Now that polio is circulating in our communities, there is simply nothing more essential than vaccinating our children to protect them from this virus, and if you are an unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adult, choose now to get the vaccine.”
“Polio is completely preventable and its return should be a call to action for all of us,” he added.
Polio had already been detected in wastewater samples taken north of New York City. But Friday’s announcement was the first indication that it had been discovered in New York City.