The source of the poliovirus found in sewage samples could be traced back to a single house or street, a health minister said.
Lord Kamall said “world’s best” tactics learned during the Covid pandemic were being used to track down patient zero.
He revealed the probe will see officers “walking down the pipes” to find out where the virus originated.
Positive samples were first detected at a wastewater treatment plant in Beckton, covering a population of 4 million people in north and east London.
“In theory it would be possible to find individual households and streets, but it’s too early,” Lord Kamall said.
The UKHSA is working on the theory that a person vaccinated abroad with the polio vaccine – possibly in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Nigeria – entered the UK in early 2022 and shed the virus.
The virus has been detected at the Beckton sewage treatment plant, which has a population of four million people in north and east London
The polio vaccine is given at eight, 12, and 16 weeks of age as part of the six-in-one vaccine, and then again at age three as part of a preschool booster shot. The final course takes place at the age of 14. The World Health Organization has set the threshold for a successful school immunization program at 95 percent, which England says it does not achieve
Parents are urged to ensure their children’s polio immunizations are up to date, particularly in the wake of the pandemic when school immunization programs have been suspended and uptake has declined. Pictured is a girl getting her four-in-one pre-school jab offered by the NHS
That person has now passed it on to other closely linked people in north east London, who in turn shed the virus in their faeces.
“What we’re doing here is really world-leading, it’s a first and shows we’re ahead, but one of the problems in moving forward is that we’re discovering things that wouldn’t have been discovered before,” Lord Kamall said.
He emphasized: “Nobody has polio and no cases have been identified, but we found it in the sewage.”
Labour’s Lord Reid of Cardowan has urged the Government to maintain “maximum transparency” on the national incident and asked whether concerns about the Covid vaccine had led to a “quite substantial drop in vaccinations against other potential diseases”.
Latest figures show that in the UK almost 95 per cent of children by the age of two have received the right number of doses of the polio vaccine.
However, in London this drops to almost 90 percent.
Lord Kamall replied that the Government was “pretty clear” that “people have to come forward for all vaccines”.
He added: “What’s really important is that we recognize that vaccine-induced polio has the potential to spread, but it is rare and the risk to the public as a whole is limited.”
The minister also said the NHS would be reaching out to parents with children under five in London who are not up to speed.
“But we both require parents to review their records,” he added.
“The UK is considered polio free so let’s be clear on that and we see a potential risk given this world leading wastewater monitoring.”
Baroness Merron, Labor frontbencher, said the Health Secretary should “work closely with the Treasury to ensure a properly funded communications and vaccination campaign”.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/minister-says-polio-outbreak-source-could-be-narrowed-down-to-one-home-or-street/ Minister says source of polio “outbreak” can be narrowed down to ONE house or street