After a strain of polio virus was found in a water sample from sewage in Hyderabad, the government said that India continues to be polio free.
“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 official statement said.
Further, the statement explained that the polio virus strain that has been detected is a vaccine derived poliovirus and no children have been found to be affected.
“The detection of vaccine derived polio virus (VPDV) does not change the polio free status. It only indicates the robustness of the surveillance system and willingness of the country to detect any kind of polio virus even from the environment (sewage),” the statement added.
Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) is a rare strain of virus that genetically mutates from oral polio vaccine called polio drops, which contain a live, attenuated or weakened polio virus.
The government said that its transmission is unlikely.
As a precautionary measure, a week long vaccination drive will be conducted in the city. About 3,50,000 children – aged six weeks to three years – will be vaccinated.
“Further, the Telangana government hasdecided to conduct a special campaign against polio here and in parts of Ranga Reddy district from June 20 to June 26,” Rajeshwar Tiwari, Principal Secretary (Health), told NDTV.