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According to health officials, poliovirus has been detected in London’s sewers.
The UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA), in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical and Medical Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), said it has found poliovirus in sewage samples in northern and eastern London collected by Beckton Sewage Treatment Works in London.
It is said that it is normal for one to three “vaccine-like” polioviruses to be detected in British sewage samples each year, but they have always been “one-off discoveries.”
Previous detections occurred when an individual vaccinated with live oral polio vaccine (OPV) returned or traveled to the United Kingdom and simply “flushed” traces of vaccine-like poliovirus in the faeces.
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Investigations are underway after the discovery of several closely related viruses in sewage samples taken from February to May.
According to authorities, the virus is currently classified as “vaccine-derived” poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2), which can cause even more serious illness in people who are not completely vaccinated.
“Detection of VDPV2 has some spread among closely related individuals in northern and eastern London, suggesting that they are currently shedding type 2 poliovirus strains in their faeces. Was detected only in sewage samples. No cases of associated polio have been reported, but the study aims to determine if there is an infection in the community. “
Authorities urged the public to ensure that the polio vaccine was up to date.
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The last case of wild polio contracted in the United Kingdom was confirmed in 1984 and declared polio-free in 2003.
In a statement, UKHSA consultant epidemiologist Dr. Vanessa Saliva said there were no suspected cases reported or confirmed by the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) so far.
“The majority of Londoners are completely protected from polio and need no further action, but the NHS has not obtained the latest information on polio vaccination for parents of children under the age of five in London. I will start contacting you to be protected. “
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Vaccination rates for pediatric vaccines are declining nationwide.