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US joins Congo and Yemen on WHO watch-list for countries where polio is spreading

US joins Congo and Yemen on WHO watchlist for polio spreading countries: virus found in wastewater from five New York counties

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The United States has joined the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen and Somalia on a waiting list of countries where polio is spreading.

The virus has been found in wastewater from five New York counties and one man in the state has been paralyzed by an infection.

In a release Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this meant the US would now be placed on the list of about 30 countries where the nearly eradicated virus would spread again. The UK and Israel, which have both been diagnosed with polio this year, are also on the list.

It was not clear whether the US has lost polio eradication status since 1979, but no wild-type cases of the virus have been recorded so far.

Most people who get polio have no symptoms, but about one in 20 will develop an infection of the brain or spinal cord. In rare cases, it can also cause paralysis. To fight the virus, the US has launched a comprehensive vaccination program.

US joins Congo and Yemen on WHO watch list for countries