Hyderabad, June 15: The Telangana government went on an overdrive mode after a strain of wild polio virus (P2 strain), was detected from a sample of sewage water. The discovery sent alarm bell ringing in the state, even as the government airlifted two lakh polio vaccines from Geneva and started an eradication drive as a preventive measure. The Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) strain has not been found in the country for the past five years. The state government has now sounded a ‘global emergency’, after the discovery. Also Read - Flowers Made of Currency Notes Worth Rs 1.11 Crore Offered to Goddess On Dussehra at Telangana Temple
According to a report in the Times of India, while no case of polio has been detected, the government is taking preventive steps, as the disease is still prevalent in neighbouring West Asian nations that the state is well connected to. Rajeshwar Tiwari, Principal Secretary of Health of the state, told the paper, “The government has decided to conduct a special campaign against polio in Hyderabad and parts of Ranga Reddy from June 20 to June 26.” However, he said that this was not the first time that strain was detected and that it had been found previously in Bihar, Gujarat, UP and Delhi. ALSO READ: Telangana to launch to special campaign against polio Also Read - Telangana: 5 of Family Die After Roof Collapses Due to Heavy Rains
The strain was a chance discovery and was found in a sample taken from the Amberpet sewerage treatment plant on May 17, during a routine surveillance in various parts of the city. Elaborating on the particular strain of the virus, Dr G Srinivasa Rao, chief programme officer, National Health Mission, Telangana told TOI, “In this case, the P2 strain is vaccine derived. Someone vaccinated 10 months to a year back released the strain through stool. Such rare cases happen when a child’s immunity is very low. To avoid such stray cases, that happens one in a million, the P2 strain is no longer given even in vaccines.” Also Read - Micro Art: Hyderabad Law Student Captures The Bhagavad Gita on 4000 Grains of Rice
The government campaign will focus more on children aged between six weeks to three years and they will be administered additional dosage of injectable polio vaccine (IPV). “We’ll be following WHO-set standards during our programmes,” Rao added. While there won’t be any door-to-door campaign, monitoring teams would be deployed in several places, where parents of young children will be urged to ensure that their kids got the IPV dose.