Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Tuesday decided to conduct a special campaign against polio after a particular type of polio virus was found in sewerage water in the city. According to Rajeshwar Tiwari, Principal Secretary (Health) of the state government, the virus (vaccine derived polio virus type-II) was found in the lab tests conducted on samples of sewerage water collected at Amberpet here. He added that this wasn't the first time that the strain was traced. The wild polio strain was previously detected in Bihar, Gujarat, UP and even Delhi. The virus was found in the checks conducted as part of the monitoring system put in place after polio was eradicated in the country in 2011. While no case of polio has been reported so far, the strain, doctors said, must be contained as it continues to be reported in neighboring countries and West Asia that are well connected with Hyderabad.
The earlier administered oral polio vaccine contained P1, P2 and P3 strains, but with the P2 strain of the virus not surfacing in a long time, the vaccines too did not contain the P2 strain. "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," said Dr G Srinivasa Rao, chief programme officer, National Health Mission, Telangana. "The government decided to conduct a special campaign against polio here and in parts of Ranga Reddy district from June 20 to June 26. The campaign would be targeted at children in the age group of six weeks to three years.