London: In a first since 1980, poliovirus was detected on Wednesday in the sewage sample in the British capital, but authorities have told that no case has been reported so far.
The UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed the news in a press release saying that, while working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), it found poliovirus in sewage samples collected from the London Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.
The UKHSA also said that, due to the high vaccination rate, the risk of infection from the disease, which causes paralysis in children in under 1% of cases, was also low.
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Nevertheless, the agency encouraged parents to make sure their children were vaccinated after the discovery of the poliovirus – particularly those who may have missed shots during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is pertinent to mention that, per the UK Health Security Agency statement, the “last case of wild polio contracted in the UK was confirmed in 1984”. The UK was declared polio-free in 2003.
However, after the discovery of the virus, investigations were underway to establish if any community transmission was occurring.