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UK - Polio virus detected in London sewage samples - June 22, 2022

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  • UK - Polio virus detected in London sewage samples - June 22, 2022

    Polio virus detected in London sewage samples


    By Jim Reed and Philippa Roxby
    Health reporters

    4 hours ago


    The virus which causes polio has been detected in a concerning number of sewage samples in London, health officials have said.

    The disease was common in the UK in the 1950s but was eliminated by 2003.

    The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says it was probably imported to London by someone who was recently vaccinated overseas with a live form of the virus.

    It says the risk is low, but parents should ensure their children have been fully immunised against the disease.


    more...

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-61896411

  • #2
    Gov announcement

    Press release


    Poliovirus detected in sewage from North and East London


    Investigation underway to protect public, who are urged to ensure polio vaccines are up to date, especially parents of young children who may have missed an immunisation opportunity.
    From:UK Health Security AgencyPublished22 June 2022
    The UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA), working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has found poliovirus in sewage samples collected from the London Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.

    As part of routine surveillance, it is normal for 1 to 3 ‘vaccine-like’ polioviruses to be detected each year in UK sewage samples but these have always been one-off findings that were not detected again. These previous detections occurred when an individual vaccinated overseas with the live oral polio vaccine (OPV) returned or travelled to the UK and briefly ‘shed’ traces of the vaccine-like poliovirus in their faeces.

    Investigations are underway after several closely-related viruses were found in sewage samples taken between February and May. The virus has continued to evolve and is now classified as a ‘vaccine-derived’ poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2), which on rare occasions can cause serious illness, such as paralysis, in people who are not fully vaccinated.

    The detection of a VDPV2 suggests it is likely there has been some spread between closely-linked individuals in North and East London and that they are now shedding the type 2 poliovirus strain in their faeces. The virus has only been detected in sewage samples and no associated cases of paralysis have been reported – but investigations will aim to establish if any community transmission is occurring.

    The last case of wild polio contracted in the UK was confirmed in 1984. The UK was declared polio-free in 2003.

    Dr Vanessa Saliba, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA said:
    Vaccine-derived poliovirus is rare and the risk to the public overall is extremely low.

    Vaccine-derived poliovirus has the potential to spread, particularly in communities where vaccine uptake is lower. On rare occasions it can cause paralysis in people who are not fully vaccinated so if you or your child are not up to date with your polio vaccinations it’s important you contact your GP to catch up or if unsure check your Red Book. Most of the UK population will be protected from vaccination in childhood, but in some communities with low vaccine coverage, individuals may remain at risk.

    We are urgently investigating to better understand the extent of this transmission and the NHS has been asked to swiftly report any suspected cases to the UKHSA, though no cases have been reported or confirmed so far.

    Jane Clegg, Chief nurse for the NHS in London said:
    The majority of Londoners are fully protected against Polio and won’t need to take any further action, but the NHS will begin reaching out to parents of children aged under 5 in London who are not up to date with their Polio vaccinations to invite them to get protected.

    Meanwhile, parents can also check their child’s vaccination status in their Red Book and people should contact their GP surgery to book a vaccination, should they or their child not be fully up to date.

    The UK is considered by the World Health Organization to be polio-free, with low-risk for polio transmission due to the high level of vaccine coverage across the population. However, vaccine coverage for childhood vaccines has decreased nationally and especially in parts of London over the past few years, so UKHSA is urging people to check they are up to date with their vaccines.

    Wastewater surveillance is being expanded to assess the extent of transmission and identify local areas for targeted action. Healthcare professionals have been alerted to these findings so they can promptly investigate and report anyone presenting with symptoms that could be polio, such as paralysis.


    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/p...nd-east-london

    Comment


    • #3

      Vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) detected in environmental samples in London, UK

      22 June 2022


      The Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) has confirmed the isolation of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV2) from environmental samples in London, United Kingdom (UK), which were detected as part of ongoing disease surveillance. It is important to note that the virus has been isolated from environmental samples only – no associated cases of paralysis have been detected. Recent coverage for the primary course of DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB vaccination, which protects against several diseases including polio, in London suggests immunization coverage of 86.6%.

      Initially, vaccine-like type 2 poliovirus (SL2) had been isolated from samples taken from the same site between February and May 2022. Genetic analysis suggests that the new VDPV2 and previous SL2 isolates have a common origin, still to be identified, but the technical definition and criteria for ‘circulation’ of VDPV2 are not met at this time. Additional sewage samples collected upstream from the main waste-water treatment plant’s inlet are being analysed.

      Investigations and response by the UK Health Security Agency are ongoing to:
      • assess both origin and risk of circulation associated with these isolates;
      • strengthen poliovirus surveillance including enterovirus and environmental;
      • explore routine immunization catch-up of children who are under-immunized, including of families that have recently arrived in the UK from countries with recent use of type 2-containing oral polio vaccine; and,
      • enhance communications about this incident to health professionals and caregivers.

      It is important that all countries, in particular those with a high volume of travel and contact with polio-affected countries and areas, strengthen surveillance in order to rapidly detect any new virus importation and to facilitate a rapid response. Countries, territories, and areas should also maintain uniformly high routine immunization coverage at the district level and at the lowest administrative level to protect children from polio and to minimize the consequences of any new virus being introduced.

      Any form of poliovirus anywhere is a threat to children everywhere. It is critical that the GPEI Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026 is fully resourced and fully implemented everywhere, to ensure a world free of all forms of poliovirus can be attained.


      https://polioeradication.org/news-po...-in-london-uk/
      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela

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