August 18, 2022

In July, New York City Mayor Eric Adams posted a video of himself on Twitter urging New Yorkers to drink the city’s tap water — a tip for “keeping cool this summer.”

But a recent Instagram post mocks that suggestion.

“Do you all remember that time when Mayor Adam’s told everyone in New York City to drink the tap water?” says a screenshot of a tweet, which uses an incorrect possessive, that’s being shared on the site.. “Anyways, they found polio in the New York City water.”

One account sharing the screenshot wrote that “Under Biden, they are now finding polio in tap water.”

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

On July 21, New York state and New York City health officials confirmed the first U.S. polio case in nearly a decade in a person from Rockland County, New York, who was not vaccinated against the disease. Rockland County is about 36 miles north of New York City.

On Aug. 12, the New York State Health Department and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced that poliovirus had been detected in wastewater samples from sewage in the region, indicating that the virus was circulating locally.

But it doesn’t mean the virus is in the city’s tap water.

“It does not contaminate our drinking water or other sources of water that the public would interact with,” a state health department spokesperson told Medical News Today.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, polio is highly infectious and can damage the spine and muscles. The CDC said about 25% of people will experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, tiredness and nausea and about 72% of people will have no visible symptoms.

The CDC also said polio, which is incurable, is spread mainly by person-to-person contact. But it can also be spread by eating raw or undercooked food or by drinking water or other drinks that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

In New York, “wastewater is not a concern in terms of having the ability to infect the general public,” the state health department spokesperson told Medical News Today, because “the general public does not interact with wastewater.”

We rate this post False.

This article was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for these fact checks here and more of their fact checks here.

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Ciara O'Rourke is a contributing writer for PolitiFact. Previously, Ciara covered local government and public safety for the Austin American-Statesman and fact-checked elected officials and…
Ciara O'Rourke

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