Thursday, February 2, 2023

America: Polio test in dirty water in two more cities

Federal health officials said Wednesday that Philadelphia and Oakland County, Michigan have joined a short list of US cities looking for signs of polio infection in wastewater.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said communities would test wastewater for at least four months for traces of the disease. Several communities in New York state began sampling wastewater this year after a man was diagnosed with polio outside New York City.

CDC officials said they are talking with other communities to begin testing their wastewater for traces of polio. They are targeting cities and counties with low vaccination rates against the disease and places where travelers visited communities in New York where polio has been found.

Officials say identifying the virus in wastewater could help a city or county streamline and focus its vaccination campaigns.

Health authorities around the world have used wastewater to track the outbreak of COVID-19. CDC is receiving wastewater sample data from all 50 states related to the coronavirus. This year, private laboratories began testing wastewater for signs of monkeypox infection.

Health officials in Houston and Colorado plan to start testing their sewage next year for traces of other health threats, such as antibiotic-resistant germs, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and norovirus. CDC officials said that if the pilot test proves effective, more tests will be conducted in other parts of the country.

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The Associated Press Department of Health and Science is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. Associated Press is solely responsible for all content.

Nation World News Desk
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