This Article is From Jun 16, 2016

India Is Polio Free, Says Government After Strain Found In Hyderabad

India has eradicated wild polio virus, continues to be polio free, says government statement


  • A strain of polio virus found in samples of sewage water in Hyderabad
  • Government says India continues to be polio free
  • Statement explains the strain found is a vaccine derived polio virus
Hyderabad: India continues to be polio free, the government said in a statement released after a strain of the virus was found in samples of sewage water in Hyderabad. The strain found is a vaccine derived poliovirus or VDPV.

"The country has eradicated the wild polio virus and the last case was seen on 13th January, 2011, and it is more than five years that no wild polio virus has been detected," the statement said.

The statement also said no children have been found to be affected by polio in area where the virus has been found. "The detection of vaccine derived polio virus does not change the polio free status. It only indicates the robustness of the surveillance system," the statement added.

Vaccine derived polioviruses are a rare strain that are genetically mutated from the strain contained in the Oral Polio Vaccine and its transmission is unlikely, the statement said.

Hyderabad and the neighbouring Rangareddy district , nonetheless, are on alert and a special immunization drive will be held as a precautionary measure under which around 3.5 lakh children - aged six weeks to three years - will be vaccinated.

This time, the authorities are using an injectible vaccine and people have to come to the booth." We need to tell everyone, that even if your child got polio drops, don't miss out on this one,'' Dr Jayamala, cluster officer for Amberpet told NDTV.

Explaining the step, Dr Pramod Haldar, deputy health commissioner in the Union health ministry, told NDTV, "a big concern is that neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan still report polio and there is travel and movement to and from Hyderabad from these countries".  Around 16 polio cases have been reported from Pakistan and also Afghanistan this year.

The place where the virus was is located near a railway station, he said and the catchment area for the Amberpet sewerage plant is from a much larger area.