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Polio spread in London launches booster campaign for children under 10

UK launches polio vaccine booster campaign for children under 10 in London after confirming virus spreading in capital for first time since 1980s Did.

The UK Health Security Agency has identified 116 polioviruses in 19 sewage samples in London this year. The alert was first issued in June when the virus was found in a sewage sample.

The levels and genetic diversity of the poliovirus found since then indicate that transmission is occurring in many London boroughs, officials said Wednesday.


Although no cases have been confirmed yet, ahead of a potential outbreak, GPs have called for booster vaccines for children ages 1-9 and have already announced a broader catch-up campaign. doing. Immunization coverage across London varies but averages below her 95% coverage, which the World Health Organization suggests is necessary to maintain polio control.

Polio, spread primarily through faecal contamination, kills and paralyzes thousands of children worldwide each year. Although there is no cure, vaccination has brought the world closer to the end of wild or naturally occurring diseases. Less than 1% of her infected children become paralyzed.

The virus found in London's sewage is primarily a vaccine-like virus that can be detected in faeces by children vaccinated with a specific type of live vaccine (currently used only abroad). This harmless virus can be transmitted among unvaccinated children, and in doing so mutate into a more dangerous version of the virus.

Last month, the United States discovered its first unvaccinated case of paralytic polio in a suburb of New York in a decade. UKHSA said the case was genetically linked to the virus seen in London.

The UK is also monitoring polio to see if the virus is spreading further. is expanding to other sites outside of London. Even though infection rates are below optimal levels to prevent spread, the risk to the wider population is assessed as low because most people are vaccinated.