CDC confirms that polio will be detected in sewage at 2 additional locations

U.S. officials announced Wednesday that Philadelphia and Oakland County in Michigan are now joining the short list of U.S. communities looking for signs of polio infection in their sewage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, communities will be tested for polio in sewage for at most four months. After a paralytic polio diagnosis in New York City, a man with paralytic polio was found outside of New York City.

Officials from the CDC say that they are in discussions with other communities to also start polio wastewater testing. They are focusing on counties and cities with low polio vaccination coverage, and those where travelers have visited New York communities that had polio.

Officials believe that identifying the virus in sewage could help a county or city accelerate its vaccination efforts.

Worldwide, health officials have used wastewater to track Covid epidemics. The CDC is currently receiving data from wastewater samples for the coronavirus in all 50 states. Commercial laboratories started testing wastewater for mpox in 2005.

Health officials in Houston, Colorado, and elsewhere will begin testing sewage for other health threats next year. This includes germs with anti-biotic resistance, influenza, respiratory syndrome virus, and other bugs. Officials at the CDC said that if the pilot is successful, wider testing will begin in other areas of the country.

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