New York Governor Kathy Hocher declared a state of emergency after sewage tests found evidence of polio in Nassau County.
Polio was recently detected in Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties.
To date, only one confirmed case of poliomyelitis has been identified. An unvaccinated Rockland County man has become paralyzed in the leg after contracting polio.
Hochul’s announcement allows more medical professionals to get the polio vaccine, including nurses, midwives, paramedics and pharmacists.
Health officials are urging all unvaccinated New Yorkers to get vaccinated immediately.
“We just can’t roll the dice when it comes to polio,” said state health commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The risk of paralysis is real if you or your children are not vaccinated or vaccinated in time. I urge New Yorkers not to accept any risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 100 people who contract polio will develop serious illness, including permanent paralysis that can lead to death.