The Michigan Division of Well being and Human Providers (DHHS) and native organizations in Oakland County have begun testing the county’s wastewater for poliovirus.
Following a case of paralytic polio in New York in 2022, DHHS started working with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) to establish communities which may be in danger for polio transmission. Oakland County started wastewater testing final week with a pattern taken on June 12, in response to Chelsea Wuth, the affiliate public info officer for DHHS.
Free vaccines obtainable
Free polio vaccines can be found by way of the Oakland County Well being Division. No appointments are wanted to obtain the vaccine, although people ought to carry a photograph ID and insurance coverage card, if relevant. Well being Division workplaces are open from 8:30 a.m. to six p.m. on Mondays and eight:30 a.m. to five p.m. Tuesday by way of Friday. The North Oakland Well being Middle is situated in constructing 34 at 1200 N. Telegraph Rd. in Pontiac. The South Oakland Well being Middle is situated at 27725 Greenfield Rd. in Southfield.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a debilitating and life threatening illness attributable to the poliovirus. It spreads by way of person-to-person contact and may have an effect on the mind and spinal twine, inflicting paralysis or loss of life. Whereas there is no such thing as a treatment for polio, it’s preventable by way of vaccination.
“Polio is a debilitating illness that’s preventable by protected and efficient vaccines,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, DHHS chief medical government, stated in a Tuesday press launch. “Monitoring for polio in wastewater permits us to take part in main expertise that helps inform of potential danger, whereas vaccination additionally retains our communities protected.”
Folks can shed poliovirus of their stool with out exhibiting signs of the sickness, so wastewater testing can present info on the chance to the general public. That info also can assist well being officers resolve whether or not testing ought to be continued or expanded and if poliovirus vaccination efforts ought to be elevated.
The presence of the virus in wastewater doesn’t imply there’s a danger of illness. Wastewater information additionally can’t be used to find out who’s contaminated or how many individuals or households are impacted. Testing wastewater is only one approach by which public well being companies monitor poliovirus.
Most adults born within the U.S. had been seemingly vaccinated in opposition to polio as kids. The CDC recommends all kids be vaccinated as a part of their common childhood vaccination schedules. In an announcement, DHHS suggested unvaccinated adults, and incompletely vaccinated adults at elevated danger of publicity to finish their polio vaccination collection, and recommends anybody with issues to contact their healthcare supplier to see if they could want the vaccine.
DHHS stated wastewater testing outcomes shall be shared on-line as they grow to be obtainable. A backlog of samples relationship again to March 2023 shall be examined and the state will proceed testing wastewater samples weekly. Sampling is anticipated to proceed for the following six months and could also be discontinued if the virus will not be detected.
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