WORLD NEWS

London kids to be offered polio shot after more virus found

Aug 10, 2022, 9:48 AM | Updated: 12:03 pm
FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — Children ages 1-9 in London were made eligible for booster doses of a polio vaccine Wednesday after British health authorities reported finding evidence the virus has spread in multiple areas of the city but found no cases of the paralytic disease in people.

Britain’s Health Security Agency said it detected viruses derived from the oral polio vaccine in the sewage water of eight London boroughs. The agency’s analysis of the virus samples suggested “transmission has gone beyond a close network of a few individuals.”

The agency said it had not located anyone infected with the virus and that the risk to the wider population was low. The decision to offer young children boosters was a precaution, it said.

“This will ensure a high level of protection from paralysis and help reduce further spread,” the agency said.

The agency said it is also expanding surveillance of sewage water to at least another 25 sites in London and nationally.

Most people across Britain are vaccinated against polio in childhood. According to the World Health Organization, only one in 200 polio infections leads to paralysis; most people don’t show any symptoms.

The Health Security Agency said it was working closely with health authorities at WHO and in the United States and Israel to investigate any links to polio viruses detected in those two countries.

Kathleen O’Reilly, a polio expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the polio virus circulating in London was “genetically related” to recent cases identified in the U.S. and Israel.

“Further investigation is needed to fully understand how they are connected, but it does illustrate that this virus has the potential to cause disease,” O’Reilly said in a statement.

Polio is a disease often spread in water that mostly affects children under 5. It has mostly been wiped out from developed countries, but outbreaks remain in Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Africa.

Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and muscle stiffness. Among people paralyzed by the disease, death can occur in up to 10% of cases when their breathing muscles become paralyzed.

In rare cases, the live virus contained in the oral polio vaccine used in the global effort to eradicate the disease can mutate into new forms potent enough to trigger new outbreaks. The vaccination booster effort in London will use injected polio vaccines that do not carry that risk.

“We know the areas in London where the polio virus is being transmitted have some of the lowest vaccination rates,” Dr. Vanessa Saliba, a Health Security Agency epidemiologist, said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 26: Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) greets U.S. Vice President Ka...
CHRIS MEGERIAN and MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press

In Tokyo, Harris calls US-Japan alliance ‘a cornerstone’

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has arrived in Tokyo to lead a U.S. delegation to the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July.
1 day ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN

What you need to know about Iran’s raging protests

Protests have taken place in more than 40 cities, including the capital Tehran, with dozens reportedly killed.
1 day ago
Police and paramedics work at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, ...
Associated Press

15 dead, 24 wounded in school shooting in Russia

A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia on Monday, killing 15 people and wounding 24 others before shooting himself.
1 day ago
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 05: Pedestrians wearing face masks are reflected in an electronic screen sh...
YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

Asian shares mostly decline echoing US slide on rate worries

Asian shares are mostly lower, reflecting pessimism over weakness on Wall Street as the squeeze by central banks around the world to curb inflation weighs on investor sentiment.
2 days ago
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16:  In this photo illustration, One Pound coins are seen besides US Dol...
Jessie Yeung and Jonny Hallam, CNN Business

British pound plummets to record low against the dollar

The British pound fell to a new record all-time low against the US dollar of $1.035 on Monday, plummeting more than 4%.
2 days ago
KUPIANSK, UKRAINE - SEPTEMBER 24: Kraken Special Forces soldier Igor Shpatenko patrols the empty st...
JON GAMBRELL and ADAM SCHRECK, Associated Press

Russia’s call-up splits EU; Ukraine says it shows weakness

Ukraine's president says Russia’s rush to mobilize hundreds of thousands of recruits to staunch stinging losses is a tacit acknowledgment that its “army is not able to fight."
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
London kids to be offered polio shot after more virus found