As part of an expansion to its wastewater surveillance program, the Chicago Department of Public Health will begin testing for poliovirus, according to a March 17 report from NBC NBC 5 Chicago.
Samples will be collected from reclamation plants that serve Chicago and surrounding suburbs, city officials said in a statement shared with the news outlet. The expansion is a proactive effort to improve the region’s ability to detect and respond to potential cases. Health officials emphasized that no case has been found in Chicago or Illinois at this time.
In November, the CDC announced plans to expand wastewater testing for polio in certain areas of the country to determine whether the virus is circulating outside of New York, where an unvaccinated person in Rockland County contracted a case of paralytic polio last summer. The virus was also detected in sewage samples in several other New York counties, leading to a state of emergency declaration that expired in December as the number of positive wastewater samples declined.