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Polio Virus Found in London Sewage: Should the UK Worry?

  • Several closely related viruses found in sewage samples
  • UK government urges public to stay up-to-date with vaccines

Britain’s polio-free status could be at risk for the first time in almost two decades after several samples of vaccine-derived poliovirus were found during routine London sewage testing.

The findings suggest some spread between closely linked individuals and the virus has continued to evolve and is now classified as a vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2, according to the UK Health Security Agency. The government has set up a national incident team to investigate the matter and it is working with other bodies, including the World Health Organization.