The United Kingdom has declared a state of emergency in London following the outbreak of the polio virus.

Health officials in the UK have declared it a national case after finding evidence of a local spread of the polio virus in London.

No polio cases have been reported so far and the risk to the public is low. But health officials have urged everyone who has not been fully vaccinated against the polio virus, especially young children, to be vaccinated immediately.

“The majority of the UK population will be protected from immunization at an early age, but in some communities with low vaccine coverage, people may be at risk,” said Dr Vanessa Sliba, a consultant epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency. ۔

The last case of polio in the UK was reported in 1984 and the country was declared polio-free in 2003. Prior to the introduction of the polio vaccine, epidemics were common in the UK and up to 8,000 cases of stroke were reported each year.

According to Dr. Shaheen Husseinov, the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Prevention Technical Officer, routine sewerage surveillance in the country detects the polio virus once or twice a year, but between February and May, authorities collected several The virus was identified in the samples. Disease and immunization program in Europe.

Dr. Husseinov said that genetic analysis shows that the origin of the specimens is a common one, probably an individual who travels the country around the New Year. The last four samples collected appear to have evolved from this initial introduction, possibly in children who have not been vaccinated.

“The significance of this discovery is that even in developed countries, where vaccination coverage is generally high, it is important to ensure that all children have access to the vaccine,” he said. ,” They said.

British authorities are now collecting additional samples and trying to identify the source of the virus. But the wastewater treatment plant that identified the samples covers about 4 million people, covering about half the city, making it difficult to identify the source.

Polio is often spread from an infected person who does not wash their hands properly and then touches food or water eaten by someone else. The virus grows in the intestines and in the feces of infected people. In up to 1% of patients, the virus can infect the spinal cord and cause paralysis.

“Most of the disease is asymptomatic, it’s just one in 500 children who actually have a stroke,” he said. Dr David Hayman, an infectious disease specialist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who previously led the WHO’s Polio Eradication Program.

In the UK, immunizations for polio are given by a single injectable inactivated polio virus, which cannot be excreted through feces. But some countries in the world rely on oral polio vaccine, which contains a live, weakened version of the virus. Immunizators can briefly inject the virus into their waste, which can then enter contaminated water.

Health officials believe this is the case. According to Dr. Husseinov, the collected samples contained the virus from a type of oral polio vaccine used to control the spread.

He said that in recent months, this type of vaccine has been used only in Afghanistan, Pakistan and some countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The wild polio virus has been eradicated from every country in the world except Afghanistan and Pakistan. But vaccine-derived polio continues to cause small outbreaks, especially in communities with low vaccination coverage.

“Polio persists in some of the poorest parts of the world,” said Nicholas Grassley, a vaccine epidemiologist at Imperial College London. ۔

Analysis so far suggests that community transmission, most likely in young children. A single immunocompromised individual is less likely to carry the virus for months.

“The big issue here is whether it is circulating in the UK or whether it is an immunodeficiency person,” said Dr. Walter Erenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center and former director of the United States Immunization Program.

If this is the latter, Orinstein said, “they need to find this defensive person.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.