Hyderabad is on full-alert after a strain of polio was discovered at a sewage treatment plant.
Hyderabad is on full-alert after a strain of polio was discovered at a sewage treatment plant.

HYDERABAD, India (Diya TV) — The Telangana government on Tuesday declared a state of “global emergency” after the discovery of an active strain of poliovirus was found in a Hyderabad water sample.

Telangana health officials said the virus found was a vaccine-derived strain.

“The government has decided to conduct a special campaign against polio in Hyderabad and parts of Ranga Reddy from June 20 to June 26,” said principal secretary of health, Rajeshwar Tiwari, adding that the same strain of polio has been previously detected in Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, as well.

The virus was found in a sample taken from the Amberpet sewage treatment plant last month during routine surveillance in which 30 samples were collected from various parts of Hyderabad.

Dr G Srinivasa Rao, the chief program officer of Telangana’s National Health Mission, said the administration will follow “WHO-set standards” in the immunization process following the discovery. Children between the ages of six weeks to three years will receive extra vaccinations, Rao added. Booths will be set up in areas being covered in this campaign, which does not include door-to-door services.

Since Jan. 2014, India has reported at least four instances of vaccine-derived cases of polio, however, there have been no cases of infection from the wild polio virus since January 2012. The country was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization in 2014, while neighboring West Asian countries — some of which are well connected to Hyderabad — regularly see new cases arise.



June 15, 2016 — 4:40 p.m. PDT

India continues to be polio free, the government said in a statement released Wednesday. The announcement comes following the events of a strain of polio being discovered during routine surveillance at a Hyderabad sewage facility.

“The country has eradicated the wild polio virus and the last case was seen on 13th January, 2011, and it is more than five years that no wild polio virus has been detected,” the statement said.

The statement also said no children have been affected by the virus in the area which it was discovered. “The detection of vaccine derived polio virus does not change the polio free status. It only indicates the robustness of the surveillance system,” the statement added. Hyderabad and neighboring Rangareddy are on alert regardless, and special immunization drives are being held for precautionary reasons.

“A big concern is that neighboring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan still report polio and there is travel and movement to and from Hyderabad from these countries,” said Dr. Pramod Haldar, deputy health commissioner in the Union Health Ministry.

Around 16 cases of polio have been reported this year in Pakistan and Afghanistan.