Health

Polio virus in London: pathogen found! Is the virus spreading now?

London authorities have discovered poliovirus in wastewater. However, they are not taking any new health risks. However, they assume that pathogens can spread. How dangerous would an outbreak be for humans?

For centuries, polio epidemics have caused numerous deaths. After a vaccine could be injected in Germany in 1957 and subsequently also as an oral vaccination (1962), the spread was contained. However, the pathogen is still there. In London, experts found pathogens in wastewater. They reported it “Keeper“.

Discovery of the poliovirus: the risk of infection is currently so high

During routine inspections of wastewater in the north and east of the metropolis, signs of community-based transmission of the poliovirus were found for the first time. As early as February 2022, experts were able to find positive samples at the Beckton Wastewater Treatment Plant in Newham, the British Health Safety Authority (UKHSA) said. Infections were not reported to the authority. It also assumes that the risk of infection is currently low. Maybe a tourist could do it Virus they brought. But this is not guaranteed.

“It can spread!” Experts give the green light after finding polio

However, “it can spread, particularly in communities where vaccination coverage is low,” said Dr. Vanessa Saliba, Epidemiologist Consultant at UKHSA. That is why UKHSA has called for a review of vaccination coverage. “On rare occasions, it can cause paralysis in people who aren’t fully vaccinated. So if you or your child are out of date on polio vaccination, be sure to check with your GP to catch up.” says the epidemiologist.

Polio: These are the symptoms to watch out for

For centuries, poliovirus has caused many people to develop polio, also known as polio or polio. The name polio refers to the fact that it mainly affects children under the age of five. The virus attacks the nervous system after infection, causing paralysis or even death in severe cases. The polio virus is very contagious. Even people who are not sick can infect those around them. Polio is spread through coughing, sneezing, and objects contaminated with feces.

Symptoms of a poliovirus infection are rather nonspecific. They look like a flu illness. Sore throat, fever, headache, or abdominal pain can indicate polio. Symptoms usually last for ten days and then go away. In very rare cases, those affected suffer from leg problems. This, too, usually goes away within a few weeks to a month. If you suffer from similar symptoms, get them checked by a doctor. They can also indicate other diseases.

Is there a treatment for poliomyelitis?

There is no cure for polio, just a vaccine. This protects against infections. Anyone who was not vaccinated as a child can still do so.

Read also: Virus killer is coming! Is humanity facing the next pandemic?

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