India: Hyderabad on high alert for polio
June 15, Hyderabad: An Indian city Hyderabad has declared a ‘high alert’ for polio after an active strain of the virus was found in samples of sewage.
The city with nearly seven million people, 350,000 are children ranging from 6 weeks to 3 years old and will be vaccinated during the weeklong campaign, which will start on Monday.
A vaccination drive will be launched after tests revealed a vaccine-derived poliovirus in sewage samples taken in Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana state, Rajeshwar Tiwari, the state's top health official, told reporters. About 350,000 children ranging from 6 weeks to 3 years old will be vaccinated during the weeklong campaign, which will start on Monday.
State health authorities have decided to set up more than 750 vaccination centers in Hyderabad and another 122 in nearby Ranga Reddy district to ensure that all children are covered during the vaccination drive.
India fought a decades-long battle to eradicate polio in the country, with the federal and state governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and several volunteer groups joining hands to fight the crippling disease. India was formally declared polio-free in 2014. Its last case was detected in the eastern state of West Bengal in 2011, according to reports.
The virus strain was found last month in a water sample traced to a sewage treatment plant in the Amberpet section of Hyderabad, Tiwari said. It was detected during countrywide random tests of sewage water that have been held regularly since the disease was eradicated in India, the Associated Press reports.
The Oslo Times International News Network