British health authorities on Wednesday said an inspection found polio virus in London sewage water and they declared a national incident upon the discovery.
“The UK Heath Security Agency (UKHSA), working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has found poliovirus in sewage samples collected from the London Beckton Sewage Treatment Works,” a government statement said.
The detection of the virus VDPV2 “suggests it is likely there has been some spread between closely-linked individuals in North and East London and that they are now shedding the type 2 poliovirus strain in their faeces.”
“The virus has only been detected in sewage samples and no associated cases of paralysis have been reported – but investigations will aim to establish if any community transmission is occurring.”
The last case of wild polio contracted in the UK was confirmed in 1984. The UK was declared polio-free in 2003.
Parents have been urged to check their child’s vaccination and to contact their general practitioner to book a vaccination, should they or their child not be fully up to date.