HYDERABAD: The Telangana government on Tuesday sounded a "global emergency" after an active strain of wild polio virus (P2 strain) was detected in a water sample collected from a drain, prompting it to airlift two lakh vaccines from Geneva to inoculate more than three lakh children in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district as a "preventive measure" from Wednesday.
Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) strain has not been seen in the country for more than five years. While no case of polio has been reported so far, the strain, doctors said, must be contained as it continues to be reported in neighbouring countries and West Asia that are well connected with Hyderabad. The government said it's launching a massive vaccination programme as a preventive measure.
"The government has decided to conduct a special campaign against polio in Hyderabad and parts of Ranga Reddy from June 20 to June 26," said Rajeshwar Tiwari, principal secretary, health. He added that this wasn't the first time that the strain was traced. The wild polio strain was previously detected in Bihar, Gujarat, UP and even Delhi.
The strain was found in a sewerage sample taken from the Amberpet sewerage treatment plant on May 17, during routine surveillance after 30 samples were taken from various parts of the city. The earlier administered oral polio vaccine contained P1, P2 and P3 strains, but with the P2 strain of the virus not surfacing in a long time, the vaccines too did not contain the P2 strain.
"In this case, the P2 strain is vaccine derived. Someone vaccinated 10 months to a year back released the strain through stool. Such rare cases happen when a child's immunity is very low. To avoid such stray cases, that happens one in a million, the P2 strain is no longer given even in vaccines," said Dr G Srinivasa Rao, chief programme officer, National Health Mission, Telangana.
"We'll be following WHO-set standards during our programmes," he added. As part of the special campaign, children aged between six weeks to three years will be given additional doses of the injectable polio vaccine (IPV). Booths will be set up in areas being covered in these campaigns.
Officials said they would deploy monitoring teams to all these places, but there won't be any door-to-door vaccination campaign. Parents of children living in these areas will be encouraged to ensure their children get the IPV dose from the vaccine booth, which will provide additional protection against all types of polio.
The strain was found in a sewage sample taken from the Amberpet sewerage treatment plant on May 17, during a routine check after 30 samples were taken from various parts of Hyderabad
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Korea is playing host to Rotary's largest event of the year, its annual convention. More than 42,000 Rotary members from over 100 countries will come together this month to celebrate service, exchange ideas, and relax among friends at unforgettable concerts and social events. The convention runs from 28 May to 1 June.
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