US health departments elevate polio detection efforts

Health departments across the nation are ramping up their polio detection efforts as New York reports a lag in vaccinations, CBS News reported Sept. 27.

"We have a lot of infiltration of especially our insular community in Rockland by the anti-vaxxers, and we are now working to supersede them as best we can," Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, chief medical officer of Rockland County in New York, said at a National Vaccine Advisory Committee meeting Sept. 22-23. "It's going to be very, very difficult."

New Jersey's health department told CBS it has been working with the CDC to use its wastewater surveillance program to test for polio, with collected samples through August testing negative thus far.

California, Colorado, Chicago, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio health officials are in talks to expand their surveillance programs to include polio. On the other hand, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas health officials told CBS they were not planning to expand their programs.

"The considerations for selection of areas include local vaccination coverage, the extent of travel to and from countries where poliovirus is still circulating, and NWSS presence," a CDC spokesperson said in a statement.

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