National Indent declared in UK. Polio in wastewater.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has declared a national incident after routine surveillance of wastewater in north and east London found evidence of community transmission of poliovirus for the first time.

Wastewater at one particular treatment plant tested positive for vaccine-derived poliovirus in back in February during routine tersting. This is not highly unusual, vaccine derived poliovirus is detected 3-4 times a year in the UK. However, the samples detected at this aprticualr plant raised the alarm because they were related to one another,  and contained mutations that suggest the virus was evolving as it spreads from person to person. It is believed that the origin of the virus is likely someone who has arrived in the UK after being vaccinted with the oral polio vaccine and spreading it locally. 

At present there have been no cases of polio, or the virus related paralysis, reported to authorities. As part of the response to the incident the NHS will be reaching out to parents of unvaccintaed children to advise vaccination, and adults will be encouraged to check they have been vaccianted. 


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