Polio: ‘Possible’ source of virus could be traced back to single household, says minister

It “might be possible” to trace the source of polio virus detected in London to a single household or street, a health minister has suggested.

A national incident has been declared after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found polio in sewage samples collected from the London Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, which serves around four million people in north and east London.

While it is normal for the virus to be picked up as isolated cases and not detected again, experts have raised the alarm after several genetically linked viruses were found in samples between February and May.

Health minister Lord Kamall told peers on Thursday that it could be possible to pinpoint the source of the virus to a single address.

“It is mixed up with a lot of stuff and what we have got to try and work out now is how we go along the pipes and investigate individual pipes to see whether we can locate the source,” Lord Kamall said.

“In theory it might be possible to find individual households and streets but it is too early.

“This is really world-beating in what we are doing here, it is a first and it shows that we are ahead, but one of the issues with being ahead is that we detect things that would not have been detected earlier.”

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Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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