NHS to contact parents of unvaccinated kids in fight to contain polio outbreak

Polio vaccine

The disease was found in the UK yesterday for the first time in 40 years (Picture: Getty/Sky)

Parents of unvaccinated children in London will be contacted by the NHS in a bid to contain the UK’s polio outbreak.

A national incident was declared yesterday after the disease was found in the UK for the first time in 40 years.

The virus was discovered in samples from the London Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, which covers a population of around four million people.

Now, an investigation is underway to determine the source of the outbreak so a targeted vaccination drive can begin.

The UK Health Security Agency (HSA) is working on the theory that a person vaccinated abroad with the live polio vaccine – possibly in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Nigeria – entered the UK early in 2022 and was shedding the virus.

It is likely they then infected relatives or close contacts in north-east London, who in turn are shedding the virus into their faeces.

Traces of the polio virus have been found during a routine sewage inspection in London (Picture: Sky)

Officials are looking at the possibility that just one family – or an extended family – may be infected.

However as a precaution, the NHS is starting up a major drive to ensure routine vaccinations are being taken up after the Covid-19 pandemic caused a lull in appointments.

Jane Clegg, chief nurse for the NHS in London, said: ‘The NHS will begin reaching out to parents of children aged under five in London who are not up to date with their polio vaccinations to invite them to get protected.’

Health officials stressed that the virus has only been detected in sewage samples and no cases of paralysis have been reported.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he …read more

Source:: Metro News

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