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Polio detected in New York City's wastewater, suggesting virus is circulating: "Alarming, but not surprising"

Polio detected in NYC waste water
The virus that causes polio has been detected in New York City's wastewater weeks after a case of polio was identified in Rockland County, north of the city, health officials announced Friday.
The presence of the poliovirus in the city's wastewater suggests likely local circulation of the virus, the city and New York state health departments said.

"Polio can lead to paralysis and even death," the departments said in a tweet. "We urge unvaccinated New Yorkers to get vaccinated now."

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said the detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is "alarming, but not surprising."




Tim Kaine has long Covid. That’s not moving Congress to act.

Long Covid

Tim Kaine was once hopeful that his colleagues would take the looming threat of long Covid more seriously if they knew someone living with the mysterious post-viral illness — himself.

Earlier this year, the Virginia senator and former vice presidential candidate started bringing up the nerve sensitivity that he fears may be permanent at every health care-related hearing, in backroom conversations with colleagues, in speeches and during press conferences.

After he was infected in March of 2020 — with strange symptoms he first thought were an allergic reaction — Kaine watched his wife, other loved ones, and fellow senators make full recoveries while his own discomfort remained. Weeks turned into months, then into years.

Now, he stresses to fellow lawmakers and top Biden officials that he’s spent two years feeling “as if every nerve ending in my body has had five cups of coffee.”


New York Health Department says hundreds of people may be infected with polio virus

Hundreds in NY may have polio virus

Just two weeks ago, the New York Health Department reported the nation's first case of polio in almost a decade, in Rockland County, north of New York City. Officials said that case occurred in a previously healthy young adult who was unvaccinated and developed paralysis in their legs.

Since then, three positive wastewater samples from Rockland County and four from neighboring Orange County were discovered and genetically linked to the first case, the health department said in a press release on Thursday, suggesting that the polio virus is being spread within local communities. The newest samples were taken from two locations in Orange County in June and July and one location in Rockland County in July.


Biden issues second executive order to protect abortion access

Biden issues exec order to protect abortion access

President Biden on Wednesday issued an executive order to protect people's ability to travel out of state to access abortion.

The big picture: This is the second executive order the president has issued to preserve abortion access after the Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

State of play: Biden signed the executive order during the first meeting of the White House's Task Force on Reproductive Health Care, which is focused on coordinating the federal government's efforts on reproductive health.

Details: The executive order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to "consider action to advance access" to reproductive health services, including through Medicaid for patients who travel out of state.

  • Biden is also asking HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to consider "all appropriate actions" to ensure that health providers follow federal nondiscrimination laws so that people can "receive medically necessary care without delay."
  • Becerra must also "evaluate and improve research, data collection, and data analysis efforts" on maternal health.

EPA: Chemical In Medical-Device Cleanser Poses Cancer Risk

EPA administrator Michael ReganThe Environmental Protection Agency is warning residents who live near medical sterilizing plants in 13 states and Puerto Rico about potential health risks from emissions of ethylene oxide, a chemical widely used in their operations.

Laredo, Texas; Ardmore, Oklahoma; and Lakewood, Colorado, are among the communities facing the highest risk from ethylene oxide emissions, EPA said.

The agency has notified 23 commercial sterilizers — 19 in the continental U.S. and four in Puerto Rico — that their operations pose an elevated risk of cancer and other ailments. The notice follows a recent survey of emissions data from almost 100 commercial sterilizers nationwide.

Ethylene oxide is used to clean everything from catheters to syringes, pacemakers and plastic surgical gowns.


Kansas voters reject effort to eliminate state abortion protections

Kansas votes for abortion rights

In the first abortion-related election since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Kansas have rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have specified that the right to terminate a pregnancy isn’t protected. Though votes are still being counted, Decision Desk HQ determined that the amendment has failed, preserving access to abortion in a state that has emerged as a regional destination for the procedure.

The Supreme Court’s reversal of federal abortion protections has put new focus on state courts and constitutions. In Kansas, the state Supreme Court held in 2019 that their constitution guarantees the right to an abortion — a ruling that has barred state legislators from passing laws that might ban or heavily restrict access to the procedure. Right now, abortion in Kansas is legal up until 22 weeks of pregnancy.

The vote could offer a preview into whether and how the Roe decision could shape state elections this fall, tilting the balance in favor of voters who support abortion rights.


Banana Boat sunscreens recalled after benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, was found inside

Banana Boat Sunscreen recalled

Sunscreen products from the popular brand Banana Boat are being recalled after traces of a chemical known to cause cancer was found inside bottles.

Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Spray SPF 30 is being recalled after benzene, a human carcinogen, was not found in the sunscreen itself, but in propellant that sprays out the sunscreen, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday. The chemical is commonly found in gasoline and cigarette smoke, according to the National Cancer Institute.

"(Benzene) potentially can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life threatening," the FDA said.

Edgewell Personal Care Company, which makes the brand, said the products affected are in six-ounce spray cans and were distributed nationwide through retailers and online shopping. Affected products will have expiration dates of December 2022, February 2023 or April 2024. Lot numbers are 20016AF, 20084BF and 21139AF.


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