According To The CDC: Sewage Will Be Tested For Polio In 2 Additional Locations

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : December 5, 2022

The US will focus on the polio wastewater testing for the polio virus in the selected areas across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that more places will be listed to collect wastewater to test for polio in sewage.

The communities began testing after a man in his 20s was diagnosed with paralytic polio outside New York City.  

US health officials said that Philadelphia and Oakland Country, Michigan are joining and efforts are being made to list the locality where the signs of polio infection appear. Around   82 genetically linked viruses were recovered from the sewage sample which was collected from five countries in and around New York City. 

The outcome of  the CDC’s strategic wastewater testing from the selected communities will be helpful to identify the nature of infection and prioritize vaccination facilities in the identified communities which are to be concerned. The test will last for at least four months to identify the communities that have chances to be infected.

Wastewater Testing To Identify The Polio Infection

The experts suggest that waste water testing will be an effective method to identify and understand the presence of poliovirus and if it is circulating in communities in certain circumstances.  Wastewater testing to identify the polio infection is not common like other infections such as covid 19, influenza, or other viral infection.

According To The CDC: Sewage Will Be Tested For Polio In 2 Additional Locations

The testing was not broadly recommended for poliovirus infection. But it is very important to recognize the infection and make efforts to control the spread of infection all over the communities so the authority takes adequate measures like providing vaccination if needed to limit the transmission.

Health officials around the world used wastewater to track different diseases and it was effective in tracking covid outbreak also laboratories began testing monkeypox in wastewater. 

If the infection is not controlled from the beginning stage, the country may face difficulties in the future. In the case of poliovirus infection, the chances of spreading from an infectious person to a noninfectious person are high if it is not abolished from the roots. 

Health officials of Houston and Colorado plan for testing sewage for other health threats such as respiratory syncytial virus, norovirus, germs with antibiotic resistance, and many more which are caused by wastewater and an unhealthy environment. It is decided to expand the test into other parts of the country as a precaution. 

Polio was a global scourge before the development and deployment of polio vaccines in the 1950s and 1960s. The infection is not visible in most children, but if a small percentage of the virus may develop, it can paralyze the person, often in the limbs.\

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In some cases, the chest muscles are affected leaving the victim unable to breathe on their own.

A polio expert and president of the nonprofit Kid Risk, Kim Thompson said conducting wastewater surveillance will be effective for some communities but not for all.

She also noted that the busy holiday travel season is here and the detection of poliovirus is ongoing, the transmission in New York may continue. It makes sense for the states with known connections to the transmitted area to consider their wastewater sampling. 

So far this year 30 children have been paralyzed by wild poliovirus. But in addition to the wild viruses, vaccine-derived viruses are found more broadly.

These viruses come from oral polio vaccines, which contain killed vaccines. Several countries have vaccine-derived viruses this year and over 500 children have been paralyzed by the virus. 

The virus may spread from child to child where hygiene is poor and clean water is not available. If the places are clean and manage to keep the surroundings hygienic, the transmission of the virus can be controlled and vaccinators do not need to reach every child to eradicate the virus.  


🔵 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d) CDC planning wastewater testing for polio in select communities Available [Online] at:

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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