The causative agent of polio was discovered in the sewage of the British capital. The last time there was a case of polio was in 1984.
In London, one million children are set to receive a booster vaccination against polio after the pathogen was discovered in the British capital’s sewage. According to the UK Department of Health, polio vaccination is recommended for all children between the ages of one and nine years.
Polio – the medical term for polio – was common around the world until a vaccine was found in the 1950s. The infectious disease is now considered eradicated in most regions of the world. In the UK, the last case was recorded in 1984.
Young children in particular become seriously ill
Oral polio vaccination completely protects vaccinated people from infection, but it can lead to contamination of other people by faeces in sewage contaminated with the vaccine viruses. The resulting virus variant, although weaker than the wild poliovirus, can still cause serious illness and paralysis in unvaccinated people. Young children are particularly affected.
The authorities in London have not yet identified any new cases. However, results in several sewage treatment plants indicated that “there is a certain level of transmission of the virus in these areas that can spread to neighboring areas,” the ministry said.
Polio expert Kathleen O’Reilly fears “the local spread of the polio virus.” People with missing or incomplete immunization are most likely to be affected. according to World Health Organization (WHO), London’s polio vaccination rate is just under 87 percent – lower than the rest of the country.
(APA / AFP)
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