Poliovirus has been detected in the UK sewage system in North and East London.
What is Polio?
Polio is a highly infectious and vaccine-preventable disease. It is a virus that can enter our nervous system and cause paralysis of the muscles.
Whilst it can affect people of any age, it is most likely to affect children under the age of 3.
The sewage samples indicated that an individual who may have been given the live polio vaccine abroad has come back to the UK and that this virus has evolved into what is known as a ‘vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2.
The evidence suggests that the virus is being spread between closely-linked individuals in North and East London. So far, no cases of paralysis have been reported due to polio.
How does Polio spread?
The polio virus can be spread between people who may not be experiencing any symptoms at all. However, in some individuals, it can be a dangerous infection.
Many people in the UK have been vaccinated against polio. The government are encouraging people to check their vaccination records and red books to ensure that they have been vaccinated.
If you or your child are not up to date with your vaccinations and are not fully vaccinated against polio, then it is advised to catch up.
The polio vaccine is part of the UK vaccination programme. Children are given 5 doses of the polio vaccine between the ages of 8 weeks and 14 years old under this schedule.
However, vaccine uptake has reduced in the UK in recent years leaving some children and adults particularly vulnerable to polio.
The polio vaccine
Here at Dr Wayne Cottrell & Co, we are offering two choices of the inactivated polio vaccine, for both children and adults.
We stock Imovax Polio, a single polio vaccine, as well as Revaxis, which is a vaccine for Diptheria, tetanus and polio.
The Imovax Polio vaccine can be used for children and adults who may not have been previously immunised against polio. For children who may have followed alternative vaccine schedules which did not include polio vaccines, this is a good way to immunise against polio.
The Revaxis vaccine can be used for adults or children over the age of 6 who may not be up to date with their polio vaccines. It can be used as a booster vaccine for adults who have not had a booster in the last 10 years.
There are limited stocks of Imovax Polio in the UK, so we feel very lucky to have a small supply.