The UK Public Health Agency (UKHSA) declared a national emergency on Wednesday after the polio virus was found in the sewers of London, Sky News reported.
The report says that between February and May, several interconnected polioviruses were detected at a wastewater treatment plant in the London suburb of Picton. These effects of the virus have been termed “vaccine” poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2).
Sky News quotes agency epidemiologist Vanessa Saliba: “The vaccine-derived polio virus can spread, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. In rare cases, it can cause paralysis in people who have not been fully vaccinated.”
As pointed out by the channel, the virus can get into the sewers from a person recently vaccinated against polio in a country where the disease has not yet been eradicated, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan or Nigeria.
The report said that if more samples of the virus are found in the future, a next level of emergency could be declared where certain groups of people are vaccinated and tests are taken from areas where the polio virus has been found.
This is the second case of polio virus detected in the UK in recent months, with the last case reported in 1984.
Poliomyelitis is a paralysis of the spine, an acute infectious disease caused by damage to the gray matter of the spinal cord by the polio virus, and characterized mainly by diseases of the nervous system.
There is currently no cure for polio, but the disease can be prevented through vaccination.
Source: RIA Novosti