The Telangana government has 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 innoculate more than three lakh children in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district as a “preventive measure”. Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) strain has not been seen in the country for more than fiveyears. 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.
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.
Did You Know?
World Polio Day is held every year on 24th October every year across the world to commemorate the month in which Dr. Jonas Salk was born who was first to develop a vaccine against polio. The introduction of polio vaccination led to reduction of polio by 99% worldwide.
According to WHO, One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized. Polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases then, to 359 reported cases in 2014. The reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.