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Polio strain mutated from vaccine is ‘likely’ being transmitted in London

Polio may be spreading in the UK for the first time in nearly 40 years, health chiefs warned today as they declared a ‘national incident’.

Officials have found traces of a vaccine-derived version of the virus in sewage samples in parts of London and say it is ‘likely’ transmitting within the community.

Parents are being urged to ensure their children are up to date with their polio vaccinations, particularly after the pandemic when school immunisation schemes were disrupted. 

All British children are supposed to have had the first of three polio jabs as a baby, but uptake in London lags behind the rest of the country.

Polio spreads through coughs and sneezes or contact with objects contaminated with faeces, causing permanent paralysis in around one in 100 cases. Children are at a higher…


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