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Poliovirus detected in Hyderabad after five years

The Times of India report dated 14 June 2016, an active strain of wild poliovirus has been identified in a water sample which was collected from a drain in Hyderabad, India.

The state government has declared a global emergency and airlifted two lakh vaccines from Geneva.

India has been declared polio-free, and no Poliomyelitis virus strain has been detected anywhere in the country since last five years.

The resurfacing of the pathogen has set alarm bells ringing, and a massive vaccination drive will be conducted in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district as a “preventive measure” from Wednesday.

Hyderabad is well connected with parts of the globe like Pakistan and West Asia where the debilitating disease is still present, and the state government does not want to take any chances.

It is not the first time that the strain has been tested positive. Earlier it was also found in samples collected in Bihar, Gujarat, UP and even Delhi.

The pathogen was identified in the sewage sample taken from a sewerage treatment plant in the city. The oral vaccines contained P1, P2 and P3 strains, but with the P2 strain was not detected for a very long time.

As a preventive measure more than 2, 81,812 children who are suspected to have the virus will be vaccinated from 12 locations around Amberpet Nala area where the strain was detected.

The vaccination drive has been scheduled for weekdays from June 20 to 26 across the state and 12 mandals in Hyderabad. Parents have been asked not to be negligent and get their children vaccinated at the nearest PHC or vaccination center.

The WHO recommended standards will be followed during the immunization drive and children between the ages of six weeks to three years will be given the extra doses of injectable polio vaccines. Booths are being set up all over the affected districts, but there will be no door to door drive.

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