Sewage sampling will take place in Preston to detect if poliovirus is spreading in the area, after samples taken at the London Beckton Sewage Treatment Works tested positive.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), together with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), is extending surveillance to a range of areas outside London that are most at risk from the virus.
Preston is one of 19 areas included in the risk assessment which takes into consideration a number of factors.
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Population groups living in an area with links to overseas countries where wild poliovirus is still present and areas with low polio vaccination coverage are some of the reasons why measures have been put in place. square.
The wastewater sampling strategy will continue to be reviewed and adapted as new evidence emerges.
Nationally, the overall risk of paralytic poliomyelitis is considered low because most people are protected from it by vaccination.
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Dr Vanessa Saliba, consultant epidemiologist at UKHSA, said: “No cases of polio have been reported and for the majority of the population, who are fully immunized, the risk is low.
“We are now extending nationwide sewage sampling to areas most at risk of new poliovirus imports and to areas most likely to see the spread of poliovirus from London.
“We are in contact with public health colleagues in these areas and will work closely with local areas as needed.
“In the meantime, it is essential that parents across the country check that their children are fully vaccinated for their age.”
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