WHO has identified the source of the 42-year-old re-emerging virus in wastewater

Earlier, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) had advised parents to ensure that their children were vaccinated after polio virus was detected during routine sewage monitoring in London. .

According to the news agency Reuters, This is the first sign since the 1980s that the virus may be spreading in the country, but authorities say no cases have been found.

WHO has identified the source of the 42-year-old virus that has re-emerged in wastewater - Photo 1.

Oral polio vaccine may be the source of the virus in wastewater – Photo: UNICEF

After the problem was reported, WHO had an answer at the end of June 22. Sheet Medical Xpress, quoted WHO officials in a statement that “polio virus derived from poliovirus type 2” was found in environmental monitoring samples in the British capital.

“It is important to note that the virus has only been isolated from environmental samples,” the WHO said, adding that “no relevant cases have been detected”.

However, WHO also warned that any form of polio virus anywhere is a threat to children.

In recent decades, polio has been virtually wiped out due to global vaccination efforts. Cases have dropped 99% since 1988, the year when the disease was endemic in 125 countries with 350,000 cases worldwide.

The “wild” version of the polio virus currently exists only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the oral polio vaccine (OPV) is a live vaccine, so if the virus from the vaccine is even in small amounts and weakened are also likely to cause outbreaks in areas where childhood polio vaccine coverage is low.

That is also the reason why WHO calls for the gradual replacement of OPV vaccine with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV, which is an injectable vaccine).

The WHO also said the polio vaccination rate among London children was 87% and warned that some children could be late for their shots due to social distancing measures against Covid-19.


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