Polio is making a comeback in the UK for the first time in 38 years

‘polio is back in the UK’, ban daily IAnd the Thursday 23 June. The day before, the British health authorities sounded the alarm: the virus, which has been officially eliminated in the country since 2003, was identified in the streams of north and east London. “Samples, taken between February and May, indicate that the virus has spread in a focus or more likely to an extended family.”explains the London newspaper. No cases of polio have been identified, but these tests appear to confirm the first human-to-human spread in the UK since 1984.

Most infected people have no symptoms and are often associated with influenza symptoms or, in 1% of cases, causing paralysis.

Public authorities believe the risks are very low for the general population, but there is still a race against time to determine the source of this transmission, potentially a person vaccinated abroad with an attenuated virus that could be found in sewage. “

In the UK, the daily newspaper continues IVaccination campaigns are carried out with an inactivated virus, which is a more effective technique against disease, but less against its transmission. Problem, in recent years, the vaccination rate among children, the most vulnerable category of the population, has decreased. “The first dose was given to 92% of 1-year-olds in 2020 and 2021, which is a declining rate. But it is recall above all that poses a problem, with the rate dropping to 71% last year among 14-year-olds due to births. Pupils are generally vaccinated at school.” explain I.

“This combination of a vaccine-derived poliovirus, with lower vaccine coverage especially in London and the use of an inactivated virus less effective against transmission, is cause for concern.”


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