Chicago now screening wastewater to detect poliovirus

Poliovirus illustration Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Department of Public Health is expanding its wastewater surveillance program to begin testing for poliovirus.

Officials say the precautionary step is a response to recent reports of a polio case in New York.

No cases of polio have been identified locally, but the city is proactively building its capacity to detect and respond to potential cases, the health department said.

Polio can lead to permanent paralysis of the arms and legs and can be fatal due to paralysis in the muscles used to breathe or swallow. Officials stress the best way to protect everyone from polio is through vaccination.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images