London children to receive additional polio vaccine due to traces in sewage water

British health authorities will offer polio vaccine to all children between one and nine years old living in London and its metropolitan region, after sewage tests have found traces of the virus on more than a hundred occasions since February.

The campaign will begin as a matter of urgency, in September, and will be extended to one million children, including those who have already received the vaccine, according to the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA).

All of Europe was officially declared polio-free in 2003, but in the UK they jumped after the virus was detected in June. The experts consider that the analyses of the last months show that it is no longer something punctual and that the virus transcends “to a small network of a few individuals”, although he has appealed to calm saying that for now only “a few” of the captured samples would be dangerous.

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Polio is a particularly virulent disease in children, who may suffer lifelong paralysis. Among the main symptoms are headache, fever, fatigue, muscle pain and vomiting, but they can take about 30 days to manifest, a period of time in which those infected can spread the disease.

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