LONDON — Children aged 1 to 9 in London were eligible for a polio booster on Wednesday after UK health officials reported finding evidence virus spread Infections have been confirmed in several areas of the city, but no cases of paralytic disease have been found in humans.
The UK Health and Security Agency has announced that it has detected a virus from the oral polio vaccine in sewage in London’s 8th Ward. Authorities’ analysis of virus samples suggested that “transmission is beyond the close-knit networks of several individuals.”
Authorities have not identified anyone with the virus and said the risk to the wider population was low.The decision to provide boosters to young children was a precautionary measure, the company said.
“This ensures a high level of protection from paralysis and helps reduce further spread,” officials said.
The agency also said it was expanding sewage monitoring to at least 25 sites in London and across the country.
Most people in the UK are vaccinated against polio in childhood. According to the World Health Organization, he has only 1 in 200 polio infections leading to paralysis. Most people do not show any symptoms.
The Department of Health Security said it is working closely with WHO, U.S. and Israeli health authorities to investigate possible links to the poliovirus detected in those two countries.
Kathleen O’Reilly, a polio expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the poliovirus circulating in London was “genetically linked” to recent confirmed cases in the United States and Israel. rice field.
“Further research is needed to fully understand how they are related, but it shows that this virus can cause disease,” O’Reilly said in a statement.
Polio is a disease that is often spread in water and primarily affects children under the age of five. Although it has been largely eradicated in developed countries, it is still endemic in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and parts of Africa.
Early symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and muscle stiffness. Among people paralyzed by this disease, paralysis of the respiratory muscles can lead to death in up to 10% of cases.
In rare cases, the live virus contained in the oral polio vaccine used in global efforts to eradicate the disease can mutate into a new form that is strong enough to cause new outbreaks. The Immunization Booster initiative in London will use an injectable polio vaccine without that risk.
“Poliovirus-affected areas of London have the lowest vaccination coverage,” said Dr Vanessa Saliba, an epidemiologist at the Department of Health Security.
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