Post alarm over vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPD) was found in a sewage sample collected near Secunderabad station in Hyderabad, the health authorities on June 15 reiterated that India continues to be polio-free.
Although no case of polio was found in a radius of several kilometers from where the strain was detected, the state government of Telangana will launch a special vaccination drive between June 21 and 26 as a precautionary measure.
Efforts Enunciated So Far
- Nearly 3 lakh children in Hyderabad & neighbouring Ranga Reddy District.
- Nearly 2 lakh vaccines have been airlifted from Geneva and provision is being made for another 1 lakh vaccines.
- People with children between 6 weeks and 3 years to have been appealed get their children vaccinated in the identified areas in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy (district).
No Human Infection So Far
Overall, the wild poliovirus has been eradicated from India. As per the data available, the last case was seen on January 13, 2011. Rejecting the media reports that polio virus has been resurfaced for the first time in 5 years, the Union Health Ministry highlighted that the VDPD was found only in a sewage sample and not in any human. The VDPDs are extremely rare VDPD and are strains of the virus that emerge after prolonged multiplication of weakened strains of the virus contained in oral polio vaccine.
This is not the first time such VDPDs have been found. So far, the government has succeeded in detecting such VDPDs at quite an early stage because of the surveillance systems, especially environmental surveillance system.
Reportedly, since India’s neighbouring countries, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, are still struggling with the issue of eradication of polio, the Telangana state might have got cases from there.